“Learning and innovation skills increasingly are being recognized as those that separate students who are prepared for a more and more complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.” (Partnership For 21st Century Skills)
EACMSI students probe deeply…
Our curriculum begins with the child at 3 years old and continues seamlessly until graduation at 14-15 years of age. Our integrated course of study spirals through interrelated topics repeatedly over time. With each repetition, children build on the knowledge they already have about a topic, delving deeper into the details, seeing the connections more clearly, and ultimately developing a deep understanding of our complex world.
We encourage students to do their own research, analyze what they have found, and come to their own conclusions. Rather than give students the right answers, our teachers ask questions that lead our students to discover the answers for themselves.
EACMSI students think critically…
As students progress in years, increasingly sophisticated layers of inquiry are incorporated into all areas of study. They are taught to rigorously question ideas rather than accept them at face value and are asked to identify, analyze and solve problems systematically.
- What questions do I need to ask?
- What resources do I need to solve this problem?
- Who created this? For what purpose?
- Whose story is being told? For what purpose?
- Whose voice isn’t being considered? Why not?
- What is the evidence? Is it trustworthy? Is there more?
- What assumptions am I making? Is there an alternative?
- Is this relevant?
- How do I go further?
EACMSI students work collaboratively…
AT EACMSI, learning is a social endeavor and conversations are at the heart of everything we do. Ranging from co-authoring a book, to building a tower, or performing an experiment, to designing a presentation, or preparing a community lunch, collaborative activities form the bedrock of every learning environment at our school.
Students work in pairs, in small groups or as part of a team. Some of these experiences are child driven, many are not. Some groupings are determined by adults, many are not. Students experiment with different roles in the collaborative process. Today perhaps they are leading a small group in designing a poster presentation while tomorrow they might follow the directions of an older peer who has more experience baking a perfect scone.
EACMSI students communicate respectfully…
From their first moment at EACMSI, children are taught to advocate for their needs, express their ideas, and be actively engaged in the life of the classroom and school community. This emphasis on self-expression is balanced by equal emphasis on the often conflicting perspectives and needs of others. We believe artful communication to be an essential life skill; one that can be taught systematically over time.
We also consider conflict to be a natural component of healthy relationships and give children of all ages the time, space and guidance to develop conflict resolution skills.
Our graduates demonstrate the fruits of this focus. They are articulate advocates for self and others and readily enter the fray when the need arises. Their composure is noteworthy for one’s still so young and often remarked upon by folks who meet them in the wider world.