Our world is complex, interconnected, and rich with opportunities for learning and doing. Traditional schools, with their one-size-fits-all structure and separated subjects ignore this complexity. We envision something different: an LA private school where a budding neuroscientist could study the cognitive underpinnings of metaphor while reading Shakespeare; where a master violinist could do her science final on the physics of a vibrating string.
When we created The MEG school, we wanted to stand out as one of the best private schools in LA. Our team carefully considered what goals and responsibilities any school has toward its students: how best to support them academically, personally, and socially. As career educators, we know that effective learning is built on a foundation of skills and concepts, a strong sense of intellectual self-identity, and a web of collaborative relationships both in and outside the classroom. We believe that each student deserves a unique path through school (and through life!) that plays to their strengths, while firmly anchored in the following shared experiences:
- MENTOR: Students at The MEG schools develop community, cultivate life and school skills, and learn how to lead through our unique mentorship program.
- EXPLORE: Each student chooses from a menu of different tracks that explore big ideas, offer hands-on academic experiences, and ignite passion for learning.
- GROW: Every student helps to compile an Individualized Learning Profile, a record of their unique intellectual identity, goals, and academic progress.
We are building sustainable, student-focused private schools in LA that implement an innovative three-track model of interdisciplinary instruction. Our schools increase access to high-quality, individualized education for talented students who seek to excel in their areas of interest; and present a unique opportunity for passionate teachers to develop curricula that carries their world of expertise into the classroom.
Our team of educators designs each MEG School with these overarching principles:
- Reflection, self-assessment, and understanding one’s own thinking and learning
- Mindfulness, mental and physical wellness
- Mentorship, occupational and interpersonal skills
- Personalization, individualized learning, and extensive educational support
- Experiential, meaningful, and contextualized learning
- Ample time, support, and flexibility for students to learn outside the traditional classroom lecture
Interdisciplinary Coursework: Academic courses at The MEG schools explore big ideas through multidisciplinary lenses. For instance, a student with a passion for marine biology might learn physics through studying ocean waves—while a budding young engineer might instead focus on the wavelengths of lasers. In the span of one class, students receive the opportunity for deep and integrated learning: Just as in the real world, these projects combine skills from multiple disciplines into meaningful and useful applications.
To create challenging, engaging multidisciplinary courses that cover all required content, we need an interdisciplinary team of incredible teachers! Our faculty, like our students, are passionate learners with a wide range of interests, passions, and accolades. Our learning support, academic advising, and administrative staff track individual student performance data, assess students on skills-based standards, and coordinate the curriculum with our learning goals. This gives teachers freedom to plan fieldwork learning experiences and present top-quality interdisciplinary instruction.
Experiential Learning: At The MEG School, we believe strongly that real-life learning experiences—experiments, discussions, and adventures—should be an essential, daily part of school. The core of experiential learning is learning by doing, which immerses students in, interdisciplinary projects that teach content, process, and values. Students make a long-term commitment to purpose-driven tasks, such as real-world fieldwork, creative design projects, or service learning.
For example, as part of our science coursework, students might engage in a fieldwork activity where they:
- Video-conference with working biologists to learn proper field techniques.
- Complete in-class assignments to practice the mathematics behind statistical sampling.
- Research local marine animals and compose a short piece on their experience.
- Travel to a local pond for data collection.
- Write a proposal for how to decrease pollution and the expected effect on the pond ecosystem.
Regular classroom instruction—in the form of lectures, individual assignments, laboratory work, discussion groups, and collaborative activities—supports and enables these project-based learning experiences by teaching students skills and facts. Our teachers and learning support team work together to design a robust, blended curriculum that is supported by modern technologies and learning resources. With these digital tools, we can personalize and streamline the learning process; facilitate communication between teachers, parents, and students; and ensure students master essential 21st century skills.
Socratic Seminar: The MEG School classroom is an intimate, collaborative environment where students have a chance to be heard. A Socratic Seminar is a structured classroom activity that builds a collaborative learning environment around academic discussion. Before class, students individually study and annotate materials that will serve as the focus of discussion. Our teachers use a common set of guidelines to elicit and moderate an intellectual discussion that moves toward learning goals, while giving students an opportunity to find their own voices. Students construct arguments, critically evaluate ideas, and analyze texts together as a team.
Through Socratic Seminar, students get direct instruction in communication skills: courtesy, listening, civil debate, intellectual courage and intellectual humility. As the teacher observes, they assess developing student understanding and use that information to more effectively design future lessons. Finally, these discussions offer an opportunity for students to reflect on themselves as learners, evaluate and update their values, and develop respect for each other as community members.