Q: Why another independent school?
A: Our school is progressive in a real sense, allowing children to have a voice, and a say in the curriculum. Our school is also priced at a level that is affordable for working families, our tuition is half the usual tuition, in order to provide high-quality, child centered education that is within reach of more families. Our neighborhood is a historically strong and forward-thinking community, and our school will reflect that sense of community and will serve the families who are interested in a progressive, creative model of education.
Q: What is Emotional Education and why teach it in school?
A: Emotional Education is a system of teaching children about feelings – how to identify them, how to develop a lifelong habit of self-reflection, and how to express their feelings to others rather than act them out. Our school envisions the classroom as a safe space for children to learn about how emotions work, and how to communicate them in a healthy way to others. Emotional Education is carried on during the day in normal interactions, as well as in organized discussions, lessons and games.
Q: Does it take time away from “academic learning” to work on Emotional Education?
A: The opposite is true. A few minutes spent dealing with emotional situations, exploring conflicts, and allowing children to resolve issues as they happen, saves time in the long run. Misunderstandings can cause feelings to grow and fester, and impede a child’s ability to function fully and work freely. When problems are aired in an honest and objective way, children and teachers can move forward and focus on their goals. Children who are emotionally healthy are able to perform better in academic endeavors.
Q: Why all the current attention to the importance of play?
A: Executive function is the name that is given to higher level cognitive operations. Though skill-based learning is important and serves many needs, the application of these skills is governed by a higher operative. Executive function is the ability to perform important tasks such as: prioritizing, taking perspective, controlling impulses, deferring gratification, applying experience, analyzing mistakes, reflecting on the self, thinking flexibly, among others. Think of a person with high level executive function as an air traffic controller who can take a ‘bird’s-eye view’ of his or her own cognitive operations, and bring them in an organized and orchestrated way into the work at hand.