Philosophy of Education

The 21C model incorporates the following design principles:

  • Micro-Schools of 40-160 students
  • Parent-School partnerships
  • Teacher-led and student-centered
  • High expectations with self-pacing and mastery based credit
  • Deeper Learning
  • Extensive blended learning resources
  • One-to-one take home Chromebook technology
  • Lego STEM curriculum supplemented by STEM focused project based learning
  • The ability for teachers to create personal resource "playlists" for each student
  • Progressive transfer of shared responsibility from teachers to students

Parents are the primary educators of their child and by enrolling a student at a 21C school, parents are selecting an educational experience that is both personalized and individualized while also choosing to prioritize their child’s unique needs and personal education and development over the "big school experience".

Unlike a "big school", every teacher at 21C knows every student and we are able to provide a level of personalized support and opportunity that is unthinkable in an industrial-scale institution.

As we talk about our school in this document we will briefly address areas of our program with which parents are likely to be most familiar and provide greater detail and even academic references for areas of the program that are probably very different to a parent’s own school experience. This is not to deemphasize critically important disciplines such as literacy and core Math skills but merely to keep the document to a manageable size!

The curriculum is personalized, meaning that the content is customized to the interests and learning style of the individual student. The curriculum is also individualized, meaning that different students will start at different points and move at their own speed.

As educators and parents, we know that every child wants to learn and that every child has the capacity to learn. We also realize that children develop at different paces and sometimes experience academic development in different sequences to other students, and we know that is absolutely natural and should be embraced.

At 21C each student is provided with learning opportunities appropriate to their individual development and we very deliberately identify and celebrate their gifts, building their confidence to progress and take on those challenges that they are ready to face and conquer.

We measure our school’s success not by "average" test-scores but by the documented progress that is achieved by each individual student. Unless every student finds success we have not achieved our objective as educators which is to create an environment that encourages every student to maximize their potential.

Motivating students and personalizing learning is necessary to improve student achievement. This is bound to enlarge and to change the teacher’s role. We believe teachers know the students best, and should be free to adapt and innovate according to their students’ needs. This runs against much current thinking about standards and accountability, which wants to script and restrict what teachers do, narrowing professional discretion, an approach which discourages teachers, making it hard to attract and retain talent.