“I am passionate about everything in my life—first and foremost, passionate about ideas.” – Bell Hooks, English Professor, USC
Whether our students are just beginning with us or have been with us for many years, the English Department at Pacific American School is dedicated to the teaching, first and foremost, about the power of ideas. Our skill-based writing courses build on each other to ensure our students learn how to ask the right questions because the right question can move a discussion forward better than the right answer.
Our students are encouraged and taught to approach a variety of texts critically by interacting with them through annotations. Writing is incorporated organically in all our courses so that by the end of their studies at our international school, our students can handle language precisely with an awareness of context and audience. By teaching our students to be passionate about ideas, we not only teach them to ask the right questions but more importantly, we expect them to learn how to answer those questions using multiple perspectives.
Our school employs Project Based Learning so our students have the chance to go outside of our immediate community to contact specialists while researching through databases to gain a deeper understanding of questions they have posed for themselves. These projects are a natural invitation for our students to challenge themselves through researching complex ideas and how to communicate what they have learned.
While a great portion of our time is dedicated to the ever-expanding world of texts, at the root of our department, we still believe that that reading literature enriches a student’s understanding of themselves in relation to the various cultures of the world, allowing students to become global citizens. It provides an entrance into the lives of others throughout history so that they can compare their own thoughts and experiences to universal ideas. Students at all grade levels are encouraged to cultivate a passion for reading in order to learn what it means to be human.
Teaching and learning is made more meaningful at our American school because teachers devote the time in designing engaging tasks and projects for our students.
From problem based learning, debating about ethical issues pertaining to Human Genome Project, gene manipulation, conducting lab activities to consolidate concepts, to planning and presenting projects like green building design, gives PAS students the space to develop critical thinking skills and apply them in the real world.
Cooperative learning activities like Gallery Tours, Think-Pair-Share, Round Robin, Walk the Line, Math Olympia, and Four Corners are practiced. Review games with use of technology like kahoot, quizlet, plickers and socrative are some of the student’s favorites. Students are also engaged in learning by conducting virtual labs. Another major annual event hosted by the department is the Math and Science fair, which spans across the elementary middle school and high school. Our Science Fair is a great and tangible exemplifier for our students to model the ESLRs identified by our American school.
To plan and conduct study oriented field trips, to have an effective vertical and horizontal plan, to promote project based leaning, and to be evolving teachers are some of the realistic goals that we have set for ourselves at Pacific American School.
The Social Studies Department at PAS offers a wide array of courses in history and the social sciences from K-12 at the Regular, Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and ESL levels. Because we know that all students have unique strengths, interests, aptitudes, and prior knowledge bases, teachers aim to differentiate instruction and apply evidence-based instructional strategies to meet the needs of all students.
Our focus in social studies is on preparing students with both the conceptual understandings and skills needed to succeed not only in premiere universities, but also as global citizens in our rapidly changing world. Accordingly, our courses emphasize the 21st Century skills of critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, research, and academic writing.
Since students learn best when they are intrinsically motivated to succeed, they are given a high degree of freedom when choosing topics of interest for essays and other research projects. A large proportion of our students also greatly benefit from participating in our outstanding Model United Nations (MUN) club and go on to represent PAS at national and international conferences in such places as the United States, China, Singapore, the Netherlands, Qatar, and of course, Hsinchu, Taipei and all over Taiwan.
PAS Visual Art Department is the forefront leader in Taiwan creative education, as we provide a Discipline-Based Art Education system focused on production, aesthetics, critique, and art history. Students are taught with a interdisciplinary approach, and encouraged to integrate information, inspiration and skills from across the curriculum to create visual projects with understanding on a personal and universal level. The program focuses not only on art production but also integrates art history as a point of reference and with other subjects: math, science, technology and literacy skills.
We aim to incorporate art practice through k-12 to develop students who are independent thinkers, well-rounded, and emotionally, logically and globally minded. The Visual Arts program also creates a balance with other academic subjects by giving students the opportunity to be expressive as well as to excel in the visual language of art, which is why the importance of presentation and critique are so heavily stressed. We focus on guiding students to make connections with art as a method of communication, as a conduit for empowerment, whether in the act of creation or forming/providing feedback.
Our department uses a variety of traditional and digital media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, animation, and photography as well as other material processes such as collage, print making, stenciling, installations etc. The goal of our prestigious art program is for students to experience, reflect, feel, express, explain and adapt through various approaches.
The Physical Education program at Pacific American School provides fun and challenging physical lessons for students ranging from k-12, to promote health awareness and fitness in our student body.
Fitness testing is also a component of PE classes for all levels of students. Every third week assessment tests by the instructor are utilized for MS/HS fitness testing in the area of muscular strength and endurance, aerobic capacity and flexibility.
Events such as annual biking activities and Sports Day, a school wide competition of a variety of sports activities, are also present. In addition, we offers extra-curricular sports after school: MS/HS boys’ and girls’ basketball, MS/HS swimming, badminton, table tennis, tennis, and track and field.
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