Our approach combines the most effective aspects of many different educational philosophies. Like Waldorf, we believe in a holistic education. Similar to Montessori, we don't emphasize grades or tests, and respect each learner's uniqueness. As popularized by unschooling methods, we believe in giving young people a level of freedom in what they study and encourage real-world learning experiences.
However, at its core, learning in our studios is most closely aligned with the simple, yet powerful, constructivist theory of eduction. In this theory learning is viewed as an active process in which learners construct knowledge as they seek to understand the world around them. Constructivist theory rejects learning as simple memorization in favor of supporting understanding, application, and competence. Through authentic and challenging learning experiences, instructors in our studios act as guides, asking and answering questions, and providing resources. Instruction is delivered through small, guide-led groups to present new learning and build skills.
The Lab School uses a variety of strategies to meet the needs of a diverse learning community. This includes inquiry-based instruction, online learning platforms, and hands-on projects that allow young people to master concepts on their own timeline through an interdisciplinary and appropriately challenging curriculum.
We are guided by the belief that education is a tool to fuel and support our community. Our community partners and guest guides are instrumental in creating a rigorous and customized learning environment that centers and affirms learner identity, strengths, and interests.
As members of our learning community, it is our goal that young people:
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