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The Two Big Reasons You Won’t Find AP Courses at Our Small Independent DC School

learning community, student-centered learning

Earlier this year, eight independent schools in DC made headlines when they collectively announced their decision to move away from offering Advanced Placement (AP) courses to their high school students.

While this move represented a major and potentially controversial step for these school leaders, the team here at Blyth-Templeton Academy (BTA) was not surprised by it.

The question of AP courses was one that we considered long and hard as we developed our school model three years ago, and at the time, we deliberately chose a forward thinking vision of education that didn’t include APs. In...

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5 Things You Can Expect in a Blyth-Templeton Academy Graduate

learning community, lifelong learning

High schoolers are expected to be many things today - scholars, athletes, volunteers, civically engaged, and socially responsible.

We aspire for our graduates to be all these things, and much more. Our hope, for every young person that walks through our doors, is to equip them with tools and help them develop qualities that will serve them both in high school and for the rest of their life.

Keep reading for a full description of the top five characteristics we work to develop in Blyth-Templeton Academy (BTA) graduates.

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What Should Schooling Look Like in the 21st Century?

skills for the future, learning community

What should schooling look like in the 21st century? This is the fundamental question that we wrestled with — we being the co-founders of Blyth-Templeton Academy — when we came together in 2014.

And we were not alone then, nor we are alone now.

Stanford University has done some of the best thinking about this question most recently, and if you haven’t checked it out already, the Stanford2025 website is worth reviewing. Written from the perspective of the future well beyond the year 2025, they “look back from 2100 to the era when Stanford students began declaring missions, not majors.”

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Can Education Be More Effective in a Micro-School?

learning community, small classroom

Micro schools represent an increasing trend in private education. They intentionally promote small class size to provide an environment where students and teachers know each other well and where flexibility in learning modalities is a given.  Why? In many high schools today the needs of individual students are overlooked. In response, educators are beginning to reconsider the value of small when it comes to school and class size. 

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The Role of the Student in a Socratic Discussion

learning community, small classroom

In schools that use the experiential learning approach to foster intellectual curiosity, one important tool is the Socratic Method.  Historically Socrates played the role of both student and teacher as he engaged in questioning others to develop his personal morality. His unique role and the importance of the question continues to guide the modern Socratic discussion. Today, both the teacher and the students use questioning to drive the experiential learning experience in the Socratic classroom. 

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