While students attend classes daily in our classrooms, we extend learning beyond direct instruction in many ways. Teaching and learning are created with a focus on project-based application, trips, collaborative and interdisciplinary work, and experiential vehicles such as: Community Service, Black Rock Forest, and the surrounding Hudson Valley, extracurricular activities, athletics, and other experiences built in to our program.
In any generational period, the goal of education is to prepare young people for their careers and roles as citizens. A focus of independent school education has always been building character and positive traits that will equip individuals, not only for college and careers, but, for meaningful lives in whatever communities they find themselves.
Throughout most of the 20th century, this meant teaching students the fundamentals of traditional disciplines and subjects: English, foreign language, mathematics, science, history, the arts, and physical education and health. In most cases, these subjects were taught with the focus of delivering a high level of predetermined content and skills.
As the 20th century evolved, key advancements impacted schools. The development of the computer and its increasing portability increased the amount of available information and the ability to share it globally. In the early 1900s, most information was held in books and libraries and the minds of a small number of experts in any given field. As the millennium approached, anyone with a cell phone could carry a large percentage of the world’s information in their pocket. Because of these changes, the priorities of what students need to know have changed rapidly.
In the past, schools prepared young people for lives and careers that largely followed the pattern of their parents. Today, it has become increasingly common for individuals to change career paths multiple times during their lives. Therefore, schools must prepare students to be flexible; equipping them to meet our time’s ever-changing parameters and access new careers that may not have existed at the time they started school.