It’s long been known that traditional school unfairly favors certain types of kids. Not necessarily the “smart” kids, but kids whose unique talents are in line with the traditional, industrial-era curriculum that still pervades our system. This is to the detriment of both the kids who are left behind, and the society that needs strong talent to keep moving forward. In fact, the talents that help kids get ahead in school are in many ways at odds with talents that will help them in the real world.
One glaring example of this is an energetic kid who thrives on interpersonal relationships. This person will undoubtedly be a disruption in school, but if they make it to the professional world with their self-esteem intact, will make an amazing salesperson, if not a leader.
The microschool model is based on personalized education. Instruction is limited, and kids are free to pursue their own interests (under the tutelage of an engaged, fairly demanding learning coach, of course). Much like the real world they’ll enter after graduation, microschools give them the freedom to play to their strengths, nurture their weaknesses, and chart the course they find the most rewarding.
Everyone has a different set of talents, but we try to focus on a handful of generalities when identifying students’ aptitudes. Here is our take on the multiple intelligences, loosely based on Howard Gardner’s work at Harvard, but with a few twists.