At Hawken, education is grounded in the central premise that young people’s talents can be maximized through a comprehensive and balanced curriculum coupled with challenging and diverse methods of assessment. We are committed to providing an interdisciplinary classroom experience that highlights practical life applications and an atmosphere that celebrates the joys of teaching and learning. With an emphasis on collaboration and the development of effective communication skills, Lower School students are encouraged to question, problem solve and demonstrate their understanding through verbal and written expression. Academic expectations are high, yet we remain cognizant of developmentally appropriate practice, and, at times, retain a flexibility to ensure each student is challenged in the most effective way.
Recent renovations to the learning environment, which was designed for optimum sensory stimulations through attention to light, sound, texture, and a direct connection to the natural world, supports collaboration and project based learning. To more effectively implement our educational approaches and goals, a new schedule has been created that allows for focused work on fundamental skills and also provides flexible time for innovative applications of those skills in new and different ways. We believe that this balanced allocation of time is the best way to honor the whole child and to address individual learning styles. Teachers maintain an electronic portfolio of each student’s work as a way of benchmarking the growth of core skills. This living document also allows for anecdotal observations and notations from the teacher so that parents can track their student’s progress and development over time.
Character development is an integral component of the Hawken education. The Lower School utilizes the Responsive Classroom approach, which places equal value on the development of academic and social skills. The concept of community has practical, every day application at Hawken and is exemplified by Morning Meetings, classroom expectations, and our school-wide standard of purposeful and respectful language. Multicultural understandings are woven into the fabric of the day through intentional choices of curricular content, teaching materials, and opportunities for interaction and dialogue.If you are interested in learning more about the Hawken-JCU M. Ed. Program, which is cooperatively offered by Hawken School and John Carroll University
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