EACMSI pedagogy is child-centered, hands-on, individualized, and serves the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive. While other schools are just beginning to consider project-based learning, integrated curricula, and hands-on education, these have been the foundation of an EACMSI education since 1979.
At EACMSI, children learn in a prepared environment that provides a comprehensive curriculum delivered via multi-sensory, hands-on materials. These materials develop basic skills, instill key ideas, and are self-correcting, resulting in independent problem-solving.
EACMSI teachers serve as guides and facilitators who connect children to the environment. Here, students learn by doing – either alone or in small groups. The materials are carefully sequenced so that children begin with a concrete representation of whatever concept they are working on, and progress as they are ready towards ever-increasing abstraction. This sequencing allows children to arrive at abstraction seemingly on their own, without instruction. In truth, students discover abstractions through their work with the materials.
The number of manipulative materials made available increases until a peak is reached in Junior Level. There is subsequently a gradual decrease in materials per se, and a corresponding increase in the use of reference materials. Instead of textbooks, books and other forms of media are used as references to enable examining multiple perspectives.
Lessons in the school-wide curriculum are introduced simply and concretely in the early years. Concepts are then revisited at each Level with increasing degrees of abstraction and complexity. Learning at EACMSI is a spiral with depth and breadth, not linear and fixed with factual accumulation alone.
Given the freedom and support to probe deeply and make connections, EACMSI students become confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners.