Discovery Education

Posted by Scott Allenby

10/22/2014

Wired wrote this article earlier this week, “American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist”. Proctor identifies itself as a college preparatory school, however, we believe deeply in preparing our students for far more than simply college. 

Proctor Academy science

The Profile of a Proctor Graduate states, “Proctor graduates are collaborative, ethical individuals, ready to contribute productively to their communities. Our diverse programs and experiential approach to education develop creative, resilient, and knowledgeable problem solvers who take responsibility for their own learning.” Essentially, we are preparing our students to be confident discoverers of their worlds.

Proctor Academy arts

Proctor Academy science

David Edwards writes in the article linked above, “We pass from kindergarten through twelfth grade, from high school to college, from college to graduate and professional schools, ending our education at some predetermined state to become the chef, or the engineer, equipped with a fair understand of what being a chef, or an engineer, actually is and will before a long time. We ‘learn’ and after this we ‘do’. We go to school and then we go to work.”

Edwards continues, “This approach does not map very well to personal and professional success in America today. Learning and doing have become inseparable in the face of conditions that invite us to discover...Americans need to learn how to discover.”

We couldn't agree more! 

Proctor Academy science

Proctor Academy math

Proctor's educational model based on discovery shifts the goals of students and teachers from learning content to discovering and applying content. Sue Houston shared some fantastic insights in Monday’s blog directly related to the value of discovery in the classroom. Proctor's Social Entrepreneurship students organized and hosted Friday's benefit concert raising over $19,000. Psychology students are completing social experiments on campus. US History students are meeting with state prison wardens as they explore the justice system. The images on this blog were taken during a thirty minute walk through campus Monday morning - students are constantly in a state of exploration at Proctor.

Proctor Academy math

Proctor Academy arts

Edwards cites a number of universities who have shifted their curriculum to a discovery based, hands-on learning approach. We just wish Edwards had the chance to visit Proctor prior to writing the article. He would see our term-long off-campus programs in action, read accounts from Ocean Classroom and Proctor en Segovia, watch teachers and students join hands in discovery of the arts, the woodlands, robotics, and economics. He would see teachers and students work collaboratively as they discover individual learning styles and self-advocacy skills. He would see a school that is quietly leading the charge in its understanding of the intersection of experiential learning, brain science, and self-discovery.

Proctor Academy arts

You are invited to visit Proctor as well regardless of whether you are a current parent, prospective family, alum or simply interested in learning more about how we teach and why we teach this way!

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