October 04, 2009
I think fundamentally, the most significant advantage the children have at McAuliffe is the individualization/customization of their education made possible exclusively by the coordinated efforts of multiple aides all orchestrated and guided by the classroom teacher. Ultimately, the resulting teaching and learning environment is enormously effective for each individual child. In addition, I find the academics to be far superior to the traditional directed instruction. For example, the school allows the students to choose whether or not to participate in standardized testing. This is a hugely significant advantage as the school is therefore no longer driven to maintain high test scores and is now free to provide students with meaningful challenges in all academic subjects. It s the direction of the challenge that s critically important here. Instead of the challenge being directed at repetition and drill of a relatively narrow portion of the given subject material, here the students are free to explore the curriculum in it s entirety allowing each individual student, as appropriate for that student, to break down the mechanics of any given subject material to it s most fundamental form or to first principles providing a depth of understanding as yet unachievable in other educational programs. Here the challenge is directed towards achieving this fundamental understanding as well as promoting capabilities in analytical and critical thinking, problem solving, innovative and original thinking, etc. Working in research and development for almost 2 decades now, we as an industry have no lack of professionals with the ability to reproduce information by rote. This is a very common capability and I believe a direct result of our traditional classroom. We are, however, enormously disadvantaged in that a relatively very tiny percentage of very highly qualified professionals have the actual real capability to think originally, innovatively, analytically, etc., an absolutely critical need for success in research and development. I believe McAuliffe is one of the very few schools that promote these capabilities above all others.
- submitted by a parent