Progressive Education is not a new thing, it was an educational movement that started in the late 19th century. This form of education had many adherents and can be traced back to John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rosseau both of whom had ideas incorporated into educational theories developed by such luminaries as Friedrich Froebel, Johann Herbart, and John Dewey. Clear Spring School shares many of the qualities of progressive education:
- Emphasis on learning by doing
- Integrated curriculum
- Emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking
- Collaborative and cooperative learning projects
- Education for social responsibility and democracy
- Highly personalized education accounting for each individual's personal goals
- Integration of community service and service learning projects
- Emphasis on lifelong learning
- Assessment by evaluation of learner's projects and productions
These are qualities found in all of our signature programs and incorporated into our daily curriculum. We consider our signature programs to be:
- Wisdom of the Hands (WOH) - a woodshop program in which every student participates founded on the belief that having the hands engaged in learning is important for all students and supports all learning styles.
- HeartStrings Studio - A music studio on campus where students are engaged in learning about music and also the exploration and creation of music.
- Flexible High School - this program is tailored to each student through a combination of online study, one on one academic coaching, and instruction from qualified professionals. This hybrid model is highly effective for students with unconventional schedules and graduation requirements.
- Community Service - All students actively participate in various elected community service projects and high school students must allocate 40 hours to community service, a high school graduation requirement.
- Travel Program - Beginning in fourth grade, students participate in well-defined educational journeys, specifically designed around integration of subjects studied throughout the year.
- Creative Internships - Juniors and Seniors are encouraged to work with a professional mentor in their chosen field of study. Course credit corresponds to skills and experience gained during the project.
- Outdoor Education - Our students go on camping trips twice a year to embrace hands-on learning, outdoor education, teamwork, and experiential education. During these trips the students gain an understanding of stewardship for our natural resources as well as a love and respect for their natural surroundings.
- Arts Integration - The Arts are integrated into all of our programs, whether they are academic or one of our signature programs. Our students are asked to express their ideas and feelings through their imagination and skills and to develop both as they progress through school.
Of course you might be wondering, "When do students get their academics?" What are considered to be 'academics' are integrated into every aspect of our program and are considered fundamental to any education, including ours. Reading, writing, math, and the sciences are not exclusive parts of our program but they are the core of our program. They are the tools students use to make sense of their world and are highly personalized.