Buckalope Elementary’s curriculum focuses on the intersection of character building and career education at the elementary level. Dr. Sandy Rakich, who is holds a PhD in education, has spent the past two years researching the impact of early socialization on children’s character, and it’s direct effect on motivation when it comes to academic goals. Her research confirmed that by the time a child reaches the 4th grade, they have already subconsciously chosen what they “want to be when they grow up”, which is directly tied to self-esteem, early development of talents and interests, and career exposure.
When designing the curriculum for the Buckalope Elementary program, Dr. Rakich took these principals, and outlined six character traits and themes most relevant to a child’s academic and emotional development at this stage: Self Esteem, Motivation, Teamwork, Responsibility, Career Exposure, and Talents & Interests.
A strong portion of career education nowadays focuses on S.T.E.M. careers. James Emley, a science teacher of 10 years, was brought in to help create an engaging context for the program to include this as part of the career exposure curriculum.
Once the program’s content was constructed, and upon completion, was critically assessed and endorsed by a focus group of teachers, counsellors, educators and parents.