Mae Carden opened the first Carden School in 1934. Since that time, Carden has grown to more than 75 schools across the United States. This curriculum has stood the test of time. It is a phonics based “Back to Basics” approach to education.
Alternative Curriculum Strategy: The Carden Method®
The CARDEN METHOD® concerns itself with the development of the whole child. It is highly individualized in approach, meeting the particular needs of the learner. A sound basic education is the heritage children receive through the Carden academic program. There is continuity from grade to grade.
Carden teachers receive instruction in educational philosophy and teaching techniques developed in the classroom by Mae Carden. They are required to attend regularly scheduled educational programs to maintain and advance the professional quality of their Carden teaching.
The Carden Curriculum emphasizes the interrelationship of the content of subjects presented to the students. Comprehension is assured through unification of the language arts, namely reading, spelling, speaking, listening, composition, and paragraph analysis. Comprehension develops rhythm in speech and reading. The mental image is awakened.
The Carden classroom maintains a cheery, calm atmosphere in which the student develops powers of concentration and works in a relaxed manner. Students are spared the tension of competition.
Competition is not a part of the learning experience. Pressure and rivalry are avoided as Carden appreciates every individual.
Children in a Carden school are taught with adequate individual help so that any difficulties in understanding a child may have acquired can be overcome. The teacher who properly applies Carden teaching techniques is equipped to analyze and correct difficulties as they arise. Thus each child can be assured a thorough knowledge of the elementary subjects. The child who learns quickly will proceed at his own rate of speed, but the child who develops more slowly will move forward with a complete understanding of basic knowledge instead of being forced to struggle along with only half of this required information. A child may learn slowly, but he or she need not know failure.
The CARDEN METHOD® offers a full liberal arts education. Each succeeding grade level builds on the foundation placed during the previous year in the following areas of interrelated study:
- Emphasizes interrelationship of the content of subjects presented
- Assures comprehension by unifying the language arts – reading, spelling, speaking, listening, composition, and paragraph analysis
- Releases teaching time for a broadened curriculum because of success the students achieve in language arts
- Awakens the mental image
- Develops rhythm in speech and reading
- Aims for independence and accomplishment in study
- Appreciates every individual
- Avoids pressure and rivalry
- Spares the student nervous strain and tension because competition is not a part of the learning experience
- Maintains a cheery, calm atmosphere in which the student develops powers of concentration and works in a relaxed manner
Carden places a strong emphasis on language arts and mathematics within a values based curriculum. Small class sizes enable the teachers to provide an exceptional program aligned with the Arizona State Standards implemented through the national Carden Instruction Method. In addition to the “Back to Basics” structure in the core subjects, the school provides instruction in French, Health, Physical Education, Computers, Art and Music.