Our Kids 20th logo

Find the best schools at

  • Meet with top-ranked schools
  • Speak with school leaders and admission directors
  • Get feedback from current students and parents.

Whether you’re 99% sure of your school choice, or just starting out, parents agree attending the Expo saved them time and provided the answers they were looking for.

There is no time to wait! Get 50% tickets today.

First Name:
Email: Valid email address required
Confirm Email: Email doesn't match
Expo Location: required

Traditional curricula

Find a list of schools  

Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments—which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.

There is a strong emphasis on objective evaluations of student achievement.

The approach is based on the philosophy of educational essentialism, whose proponents believe in instilling students with the fundamentals of core subjects in a systematic and disciplined way. Traditional curricula emphasize “core knowledge”—knowledge of facts—as a prerequisite to higher-ordered learning activities, and so structure the curriculum and lessons accordingly. The curriculum is delivered in a linear and sequential fashion: as if laying brick on top of brick, where students only move on to the next step once the previous one has been fully mastered.

Private schools with traditional curricula have remained popular with parents who believe that public schools have abandoned some of their important education features, says Barbara Bierman, executive director of the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools.

Critics of the approach say it applies a one-size-fits-all learning sequence that discounts the uniqueness of each student’s developmental path. They argue that the top-down instructional style stifles students’ natural sense of exploration and creativity, and that too narrow a focus is placed on academic achievement at the expense of other developmental goals.

Defenders of traditional curricula say the critics fundamentally misunderstand creativity and exploration: “you can’t connect the dots without first having the dots” is a common refrain.

Find Private Schools:

Latest Articles

October 12, 2018
Alternative Preschools

October 12, 2018
A Brief History of Boarding Schools
A history of boarding from the United Kingdom to Canada

October 12, 2018
Pros and cons of boarding school
The main advantages and disadvantages of boarding school

September 18, 2018
Five tips on finding the right school
To find the right private school for your child follow these five tips

August 30, 2018
Parent interview on choosing a private school: Catherine Wang
Catherine Wang share insights about choosing schools for her children

Canada's #1 private school guide Our Kids is proudly Canadian Our Kids is Parent Tested, Parent Approved

Disclaimer: Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by OurKids.net or its associated websites. See Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2018 All right reserved.

Sign up to receive our exclusive eNews twice a month.

You can withdraw consent by unsubscribing anytime.

Name is required.
Email is required.
verification image, type it in the box
Verification code is required.
Our Kids

From Our Kids, Canada’s trusted source for private schools, camps, and extracurriculars.