The Delphi Program
Too often education fails not from lack of dedicated faculty but from a failure in the school's chosen curriculum. That's why Delphian School has spent forty years developing and honing its own proprietary curriculum to ensure every aspect of each level of the program is integrated with the level that follows. Upon our school's founding in 1976, Dr. Alan Larson, a graduate of Stanford University, headed a team of experts to develop the Delphi Program™ from the ground up.
As a result, the Delphi Program is a unique, integrated approach to learning developed by experts in their fields. Every element of the Delphi Program—whether it be a course, a series of courses, a list of reading books, a seminar outline, a project guide, a text, an examination or a teacher training manual—is researched and developed carefully, and tested extensively, before first edition publication.
It is a hallmark of our curriculum development team to seek continuous improvement of the program; thus, program elements (courses, books, manuals, et al) are regularly inspected, evaluated and revised based on changing conditions in students and schools and evolving knowledge in the world.
The below eight basic principles of the Delphi Program lay out its fundamental philosophy. Very few things could be more important to a parent or a student than understanding a school's philosophy.
- Set Rigorous Standards - General Graduation Requirements
- Empower Them As Students
- Get Personal
- Put Ethics & Integrity At The Center
- Fully Achieve The Basics
- Emphasize Literacy
- Keep It Real
- Involve Parents
- Demand Competence
An essential characteristic of the Delphi Program is the adoption of rigorous standards for student completion of each level. These standards embrace not only the usual academic subjects, but also the ability to use knowledge and the development of self-determinism and independent thinking.
Each high school student graduating from the Delphi Program has met specific ability requirements, all encompassed within these general graduation requirements:
- Graduates should have excellent language and communication skills, both oral and written, and be familiar with their cultural heritage through literature.
- Graduates should be literate in mathematics as the language of science and technology and be computer literate.
- Graduates should have a foundation in science and its applications adequate to permit them to participate causatively in the modern technological environment.
- Graduates should have a usable understanding of the subjects of ethics, personal integrity and morals adequate to provide a foundation for their creation of their lives.
- Graduates should have an understanding of history and the role of individuals in it adequate to enable them to analyze and evaluate current events and situations against the historical backdrop.
- Graduates should be proficient students, and be able to be responsible for their further educations, and for the investigation and evaluation of data important to their lives.
- Graduates should understand the basics of planning, and the interrelationship of leadership, responsibility and trust, and have competently held a position of trust and responsibility in a group.
In study, as in other fields, it is know-how that separates successful ventures from unsuccessful ones. That's why at Delphian every student learns how to learn. This know-how is referred to as Study Technology (Study Tech) and was developed by American author and educator L. Ron Hubbard.
Study Tech does not involve minor things like study tips or memory tricks, but is an understanding of how to actually learn. By understanding the fundamentals of the learning process itself, Delphian students discover that any lack of success in learning can be traced back to causes they can control. They learn why some students are self-motivated and some aren't. They learn the early-warning signs for lack of comprehension and the subsequent inability to apply what they are learning. Moreover, as they become expert with their application of Study Tech, they learn exact actions to take to resolve these difficulties and keep themselves on track.
In the end, students acquire the ability to study any subject effectively and independently. Study Tech is a powerful tool that gradually allows students to take genuine control of their education and, ultimately, their futures.
Empowering students with an ability to study is an investment that pays off for a lifetime.
Education is only meaningful when it is personal—when it connects with a student's life as well as the real world. The Delphi Program helps students make that connection by encouraging them to explore and understand purpose—the reason for studying a subject—and what it has to do with them personally. This emphasis not only helps students clarify their own purpose for studying, but also it helps them firm up their goals in life.
Shortly after beginning each new form, every Delphian student sits down in a one-on-one session with their academic supervisor to develop a study program based on his or her interests, and with the purpose of addressing that student's academic strengths and weaknesses.
The initial task in programming students new to the Delphi Program is to identify areas of strength and weakness through interviews and diagnostic testing, then to create an academic program for that individual student which will develop certainty and enthusiasm for learning as he or she progresses.
With individual academic programs, Delphian students receive a truly personal education and graduate focused on their goals and their future.
Ethics and integrity orient every aspect of one's activities and relationships. In education, they play a particularly pivotal role. Even the best of programs can fail if these fundamentals receive little attention.
Having vast amounts of information at one's fingertips doesn't ensure one has been well educated, much less that one will be successful in life. A successful life demands integrity, along with the use of logic and reason, in determining right and wrong. That's why you will see courses, activities and projects that strengthen honesty, accountability and character interwoven throughout the curriculum. We call it developing backbone, and it is central to the success of the Delphi Program.
We're zealous about the basics. By broadening the traditional concept of the basics (reading, writing and arithmetic) to include study, communication, research and reasoning skills, we give our students the essential building blocks for a successful life.
In each area we have set our competency standards high, and we work on them until each standard is attained. Then we can really get on with education while building on a firm foundation.
The Delphi Program was designed from the ground up to fully achieve the basics in every student.
Highly literate people have the keys to a broad and penetrating understanding of concepts and cultures. Thus, literacy gets enormous attention in the Delphi Program. The Delphian approach to literacy consists of building a step-by-step pathway to full comprehension.
Our students make liberal use of dictionaries and other references to achieve a complete grasp of what they study. Combine our focus on comprehension with our high-volume and rich literature program, and you will see a student's confidence and love of reading emerge. Their ability to write and communicate effectively will also improve dramatically.
We extend this approach to other fields as well, such as mathematics and high-tech, since fluency and competence in any subject depend wholly on a mastery of the language involved.
Achieving success in today's world depends on an ability to communicate at high levels, an ability to grasp information quickly as well as reason and evaluate with it, and an ability to understand and use a wide range of technologies.
Thus, we emphasize literacy.
The Delphi Program revolves around a basic concept—get students to use their education to solve life's problems and challenges and achieve certain goals every day they are in school. To ensure this occurs, demonstration and practical application can be found throughout the program.
There are field trips and exploration at the lower end, hands-on projects at every level, and apprenticeships at the upper end. All along the way, we ask students to take real responsibility for themselves, for their academic studies and for the school community. It can be called the "show me" approach to education.
Learning and growing are naturally exciting activities. We aim to keep them that way.
Education takes teamwork. When students, faculty and parents together decide on common goals and line up as a team, almost anything can be accomplished. Delphian School invests in parents as team players by providing good coordination and making readily available important information about their child's program, goals and progress.
We expect to share with parents strategies and insights on ways of tackling difficult areas of their child's academic progress or personal growth. And we always work to strengthen a student's relationship with his or her parents and relations.
Few things are more strategic or important to our success in helping students than our partnership with their parents.
Does a student understand and can he apply what he has learned?
At Delphian, that is the final question that any supervisor or instructor, as well as the student, must answer before an educational step is considered complete. We hold both the supervisor and the student accountable for the students' quality of study.
Students advance within the Delphi Program based on simple, unvarying criteria: a full understanding and an ability to use the information studied. Progress is not based on one's age or the amount of time one spends at something. This competency-based approach gives students the freedom to move quickly when it's appropriate or to take more time with subjects that need it.
Students are not allowed to progress in their studies with misunderstandings still behind them. Such confusions act as holes in their educational foundation, and only become larger as the student progresses to more difficult material.
The Delphi Program has been designed to ensure all Delphian students achieve 100% understanding of the key data within a subject being taught. Anything missed upon examination is taken up in a one-on-one meeting with the examiner; confusions are isolated and the relevant material is restudied and re-examined.
The Delphi Program results in mastery of the subject. Pair this with consistent demands for application, and a focus on purpose and use, and you have the makings of true competence.