The Carden Curriculum in the Carden Schools

More Than Sixty-Five Years Of Excellence In Schooling

A small advertisement in The New Yorker of October 6, 1934, announced the opening of Mae Carden's School for Young Children. No one could have known that the new school at 24 East 68th Street would extend its charming atmosphere to classrooms across America.

The accomplishments of her students attracted the attention of educators. By the early 1940s Mae Carden was presenting courses in her educational philosophy and teaching techniques. She closed her school in 1949 to be of greater assistance to the teachers and schools who had chosen the CARDEN METHOD®. Public and private schools in twenty-two states use Carden materials.

The curriculum begins with three-year-old children and continues through the grades, each level reinforcing and building upon the strengths gained by the student from the previous year.

The Carden Educational Foundation, organized in 1962, continues to preserve the integrity of the CARDEN METHOD® while engaging in an ongoing program of development in keeping with current advancements in education.


The Foundation is a non-profit corporation. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible. Donations are appreciated.

Carden Is concerned with development of the whole child.

It is highly individualized in approach, meeting the particular needs of the learner. A sound, basic education is the heritage children receive through our academic program. There is continuity from grade to grade.

A cultural program engenders appreciation of art and music. A drama program affords participation for every student. A guidance program develops the student by awakening him or her to ethical and social values.

Carden teachers receive instruction in educational philosophy and teaching techniques developed by Mae Carden. They are required to attend regularly scheduled educational programs to maintain and advance the professional quality of their Carden teaching. Teachers are to be just and consistent. They must like children.

The Child

  • Develops at an early age a genuine desire to read, write, speak, and listen accurately
  • Has joy in exercising independent ability to read and to spell
  • Enjoys growing at a personal rate of learning toward fullness of potential
  • Experiences that learning accurate information and beneficial knowledge is satisfying
  • Accepts responsibility for learning
  • Applies constructive suggestions and incorporates them in personal work habits
  • Realizes the value of good work habits and develops the stamina to use them productively
  • Improves in social and emotional relationships
  • Senses that his or her own individuality is respected and nurtured and appreciates this consideration
  • Loses any fear of performing with and before peers

Ethical Values

Encouragement of desirable home and school behavior
Preparation for life as a worthy citizen

Social Values
Carden standards of living
Upbuilding thoughts

Personal Improvement
Encouragement of desirable character traits
Guidance in overcoming undesirable character traits
Development of a sense of fair play
Growth in acceptance and discharge of responsibility

The Curriculum

  • Emphasizes interrelationship of the content of subjects presented
  • Assures comprehension by unifying the language arts — reading, spelling, speaking, listening, composition, and paragraph analysis
  • Releases teaching time for a broadened curriculum because of success the students achieve in language arts
  • Awakens the mental image
  • Develops rhythm in speech and reading
  • Aims for independence and accomplishment in study
  • Appreciates every individual
  • Avoids pressure and rivalry
  • Spares the student nervous strain and tension because competition is not a part of the learning experience
  • Maintains a cheery, calm atmosphere in which the student develops powers of concentration and works in a relaxed manner

Excellence of diction and enunciation
Clarity and fluency of expression

Development of a speaking vocabulary
A vocabulary program for every grade

Vocabulary development to assure an accurate, vivid mental image of words in context
A phonic basis to provide essential tools for decoding words
Rapidity of reading with rhythm and understanding

Comprehension Techniques
Rhythmic grouping of words within sentences
Emphasis upon key word of sentence to indicate understanding
Classification of key word to express the main idea of the sentence
Summarization of sentence, paragraph, and chapter
Questions to ascertain literal understanding and to cultivate critical thinking ability
Recall of material read
Organization of material read

Phonic basis used in reading utilized in encoding, or spelling
Application of rules of grammar
Dictation of paragraphs for beneficial exercise of spelling skills

Avoidance of confusion through clarity and unique sequence in presenting and developing printing skills
Construction, not copying, of letters for achieving mastery and self-confidence
Cursive writing, penmanship

Functional grammar that serves as a tool of comprehension
Verbal and written communication of ideas

Guided — to achieve mastery in logical presentation of ideas
Free — to foster creativity in an artistic sense

Games to enrich understanding and awareness of subjects studied
Plays according to grade and maturity level
Participation by all pupils

Basic arithmetic
Understanding language of numbers
Fluency of expression
Accuracy of thought
Understanding concepts of our number system
Practice of basic skills
Practice in problem solving
Contemporary mathematics
Metric system of measurement

The United States
The world — studies of every continent
Outlines for study of countries

American history
Background of western civilization
Ancient times
Modern history
Biographies of outstanding persons

Science in rhyme as an introduction
Learning to live as a study of individuals and their environment
Elementary science as a basis for growth in knowledge of branches of science
Practical experiments to enhance understanding and clarify concepts
Observation of natural phenomena

Physical Education
Development of the individual
An individual as a member of a team
Good sportsmanship
Posture exercises

Basic vocabulary
Fundamental grammar

Fundamentals of sight singing
Variety of songs
Major and minor keys
Rhythm and phrasing
Appreciation of beauty of music

Experience with different media
Periods of instruction
Periods of self-expression
Appreciation of beauty of art



You are welcome to speak with the principal of your local CARDEN SCHOOL® with respect to Carden offered in your community.

A CARDEN SCHOOL® is locally owned and operated. There is no franchise. Each school preserves its own individuality while continuing under the guidance of the Foundation, which provides Carden educational programs and materials.

Sizes of schools vary. The number of grade levels and programs offered differs accordingly.

Please feel free to download an application and submit it to our offices via mail, appointment, or drop in.