Our Core Values:
1. Experience Creativity & Authenticity
2. Build a Community of Curiosity
3. Seek Balance Through Collaboration
4. Discover the Joy of Learning
5. Become Respectful Leaders through Service
Ideas and Approaches That Drive Our School
From the works of John Dewey, and his contemporaries, Progressive Education at AHB focuses on an emphasis only learning by doing, integrated curriculum through thematic units, an understanding of entrepreneurship, problem solving, critical thinking, strong connection to group collaborative work for the development of social skills and cooperative learning, understanding and action as the goals of learning, education as a tool of social responsibility and democracy, highly personalized education for an individual’s personal goals, service learning, forward thinking to decipher skills for a future society, assessment by evaluation of projects and productions, and an emphasis on lifelong learning & social skills.
With students becoming the focus of the school, we move away from the essentialist dilemmas of how do engage students in the curriculum and instead allow them to construct knowledge through experiences they shape through their interests and inquiry, a natural hook for learning.
A student’s natural interest of topics they discover and confront in their world and experience can be a powerful spring board for learning! Whether birds flying overhead, a stray beam of lighting acting differently, or a passing historical reference in a book or film, students craft questions that drive conversation and explorations in the classroom.
Creating an integrated curriculum means dropping the over reliance on skill building activities and worksheets, and instead, shifting to higher level synthesis and demonstration of mastery through short and longterm projects. The shifting landscape of skills, knowledge, and interpersonal dynamics involved in executing projects reflects the way most adults engage in work and is the more natural way we function every day.
Service & Justice Oriented
Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This little utterance brings into view the need to see education as a way to move forward a society that values service to others, justice for all, and a commitment to the universal respect for the entire human race.
Where we live and those with whom we are connected provide a rich tapestry of opportunities, challenges, and starting points for affirming that education is a lifelong process. Community and placed based education provide a variety of scopes for exploring different lines of inquiry in the classroom and create strong connections with our entire community.
The presence and affirmation of a pluralistic set of voices is important in creating an invested, responsive, and authentic experience for all of our stakeholders. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members are invited regularly to engage in positive, solution oriented collaborations.
We are not afraid of the world around us. Our students & families choose to navigate it with resiliency, a sense of adventure, and the support required to risk failure in an ever more protective world. While we are not ignorant of the challenges involved with such an approach, we believe that allowing young people to explore our world in ways that is developmentally appropriate and promotes autonomy advances their engagement, increases their understanding of complex constructs, and drives empathy.
We believe that we should not be defined solely by the time spent in the classroom, or at work, and should recognize that striving for a tenable balance between family & school is a worthwhile goal.