At Buckeye we deep dive each trimester into an intensive exploration of an arcing theme. Sometimes these themes encompass more than a trimester. Our students move through interdisciplinary studies of useful subjects chosen using the democratic process, which inspires their natural curiosity and innate desire to learn.
In the Discovery phase, our kids define success and what skills and understanding they want to acquire during their trimester. They analyze and contextualize the subject asking why is it important? How will these skills serve me in my life and goals? What steps do I need to take? What tools do I need to take them? Which experts can I access to help me through the trimester in order to ensure success?
Using a digital journal, these tasks and goals are outlined so that our kids, co-learners and parents can monitor their progress and record their achievements.
Phase two is Expression. Our kids jump into the deep end of their chosen subject using a multitude of tools, experts, experiments, collaborations and interpretations. They test their theories, they compare their resources, they define their position and in the final phase they articulate them.
Phase three is Exposition. In the final phase of our trimester, the kids share their exploration through demonstrations, written commentary, presentations and celebrations. Communicating their discoveries integrates work and develops confidence, agency and social-emotional growth.
Throughout the trimester we celebrate creative expression and play as natural paths to discovery and mastery. Our co-learners help seeds learn to prioritize, manage their projects and time while cultivating agency to handle obstacles, mistakes, decision making and surprises.
An example of an arc is ‘The History of Food in our Families.’ In the Discovery phase our kids will explore with their families, the epicurean past of their ancestry. What did food mean to their families? What did dinners look like? Did they have abundance or lack? What were the struggles? What were the celebrations?
In the Execution phase of the arc, our students will choose a recipe that best represents their family and deep dive into multiple facets of this rich subject.
Throughout the arc our kids will be writing, collaborating, creating visual projects, artistic expressions, perhaps even growing their own ingredients in a life skill experiment. Our co-learners will serve as supports, sounding boards, extra hands and question askers. Rather than giving explicit directions or direct answers, our co-learners will use multiple tools to help our kids discover their own direction and conclusions.
The fundamental rhythm at Buckeye is Discovery, Execution and Expression.