ECA Mission Statement

Revised: January 2008

Learning is at the core of what we do at ECA. Learning defines actions, guides practice, and is the focus of professional discussions and continuous improvement efforts.

The result of these factors are reflected in the success of ECA graduates who are consistently offered admission to some of the most competitive universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, and other countries around the world

We invite you to journey through our web pages to see how we realize this mission. You will find that ECA is a warm, welcoming school, with an excellent track record and exciting opportunities for students at every grade level.

The elementary school includes the early childhood programs of Nursery, Pre-Kinder and Kindergarten as well as grades 1st to 5th.In the last two years of high school, students may also enroll in the International Baccalaureate diploma program.

The teacher must impress upon the students the need for them to look at each picture very carefully. Students should concentrate not just on the central figures or subjects in each picture, but also on anything noteworthy in the corners or background. As each image is shown they should also think of a title for the picture. The teacher then shows the pictures - allowing the students time to think about a suitable title and write it down. If a student happens to know the title of the picture already, that's fine. My preferred eight images are all paintings hanging in the National Gallery in London.

When the students have viewed all pictures, the teacher leads a feedback session in which titles are suggested and discussed. Typically, the last image elicits suggestions for a title very close to the artist's own. I have found this an excellent vehicle for discussion work and for social interaction on many levels. On some occasions students have demanded to know the artists' own titles, whilst on others they have seemed uninterested in them - or openly declared that their own titles were better! (Once or twice I have even agreed!

I then ask the students to think back and, without viewing the pictures again, put a cross against the title of those pictures they thought had a dog in them. This is simply an observation exercise, but it typically generates much debate - and is a valuable step in the process art teachers term "learning to look". A supplementary (or alternative) question is "Which pictures do you think contained the colour red?". The list of eight pictures above contains a mix of pictures with both a dog and the clour red, pictures with one but not the other, and pictures with neither.

After a similar feedback session, the teacher allows the students to view the pictures once more and they see how well they did. The reader will have noticed the similarity between this and the student activity described on the students' process page of my webquest.

More specifically, however, this activity allows teachers and students to meet benchmarks listed under the widely respected Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McRel) language arts reading standards. More details are available at the McRel website which you can visit by clicking here. Below I list the most relevant McRel language arts reading standards and benchmarks for a third to fifth grade class.