Cultural Studies

Our approach to cultural studies involves an emphasis on practicing the skills and thinking of historians and social scientists; an interdisciplinary exploration involving literacy, math, art, and science; and a focus on social justice, learning from history to take action to engage a changing world. Students make a variety of trips that increase in scope from ECC through 8th grade, starting in the local neighborhood of the school, to investigating the city of Berkeley, native Ohlone sites, Chinatown and the Mission, Gold Country, Fort Ross, and Costa Rica.

On Our Early Childhood Campus

The Berkeley School introduces cultural studies at our preschool level by exposing children to different continents and their people, flora and fauna, as well as land and water forms. By using maps, puzzles, and globes, and presentations about different cultures throughout the school year, children begin to see the connection between themselves and the larger world. Students also learn simple language to describe their own identity, appreciate differences between themselves and classmates, and explore fairness, as beginning steps towards social justice.

In Our Elementary Division

Our framework for cultural studies comes from Montessori curriculum, California state social studies standards, and the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice standards, and is usually linked to our service learning curriculum. In the kindergarten, students focus on caring for ourselves and for our community, including partnership with the nearby Women’s & Children’s Drop-In Center. The 1st/2nd grade classes develop a sense of personal time, interview family members every other year for Dia de los Muertos projects, and study Changemakers, those who have made a difference throughout history. Third grade studies the Bay Area’s local native people, the Ohlone culture, including the roles of community members, food, shelter, and celebrations. 4th and 5th grade cultural studies alternates between a study of California history and US history, connecting the experiences of people from the past to current events. For example, their social justice curriculum focuses on the various reasons for the movement of people into and throughout the US, which run the gamut from business opportunity to slavery. Students learn about the founding of the country from colonization to Constitution, Westward Expansion to Civil War. The curriculum is rich with reading, writing, field trips, simulations, guest speakers, drama, and music.

For Admissions information, please contact Director of Admission Paula Farmer at pfarmer{at}theberkeleyschool.org or (510) 665-8800, ext. 103. 

Ignite Curious Minds
Awaken Generous Hearts
Engage a Changing World

K - 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

Ignite Curious Minds
Awaken Generous Hearts
Engage a Changing World

K - 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

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