If your time at school is a story, then who’s writing it?
At Hathaway Brown, the answer is simple and profound: you’re in charge.
Where most schools map out your path, HB lets you build your own story, and the Institute for 21st Century Education is one of the main ways we’ll help you do it.
The Institute is a collection of opportunities. It’s a solar system of possibilities. It’s a new way of thinking about the kind of school students need to be prepared for success in college and in tomorrow’s world.
At its most basic level, the Institute is an assortment of programs that students can join if they so choose. We call the programs “Centers,” and each one is related to a discipline that students explore in their core classes. Each of the Institute’s centers is designed differently. Some have full time directors in charge; others have dedicated educators who run the centers as part of a larger role in the school. No matter the design, though, each center helps students and teachers engage with the world’s promises and problems.
The Institute is our response to the exponential rate of change of our modern age. It will teach you how to get big things done in a world that doesn't operate by the conventions of a classroom syllabus.
“I don’t think I would be as creative when imagining the range of projects I could pursue in my own life without the centers,” one student said. “Really, they take the building blocks of a five-course curriculum and cast that knowledge in a different light. The centers help me realize there are worthwhile things people can learn and do that don’t have letter grades or rubrics.”
In the Institute, you’ll find chances to dabble, try new things and hone the skills that matter most in the world: grit, zest, resilience, social and emotional intelligence, and joy.
It’s one big reason scholars like Catherine Steiner-Adair see something special in the Institute: “The HB model of education and the school culture create a very specific kind of educational experience that I believe provides girls with the traits that are most highly correlated with success."
We believe that the Institute is more than a new educational design; it’s the reinvention of school itself. The Institute responds to the research that suggests that minds need opportunities to connect concepts to each other and that the traditional silos of school life inhibit these kinds of connections.
The Institute will help you map out your journey and put your imagination and muscle into transforming yourself and, through that, the larger world.
You're the author of your life. Here’s your paper. Here’s your pen. Let’s get started.
Each division has its own version of the Institute for 21st Century Education. Click on the icons above to explore.
Bill Christ has sent the conventional school bell to the archives. He has created a climate at Hathaway Brown where imagination is unchallenged.
Robert Hallett, executive director of the E.E. Ford Foundation November 3, 2010 Education Innovation Summit opening address
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