scholars

Scholars at Paradigm are expected to “own” their education, proactively shaping their personal mission and facilitating the learning of their fellow-scholars.  Teachers are “mentors” who encourage discussion through shared inquiry, rather than lecture, and act as guides to encourage the scholars to learn “how to think” rather than “what to think”.  Scholars are encouraged to reflect on and solidify their own thoughts by writing in “commonplace” books, participating in class discussions, reading the “classics”, contributing to our environment in positive ways, and committing to engage in learning.

Some hallmarks of a Paradigm education are:

1.     Teaching from original works and classic sources. This invites the scholar to become a part of the “great conversation” which has been spoken for millennia by the great thinkers of the world.  Standing on the shoulders of these giants, and applying the concepts learned through history to the present, scholars acquire the ability to shape the future and preserve freedom.

2.     Scholar based learning, rather than teacher based learning.  Scholars at Paradigm are expected to “own” their education, proactively shaping their personal mission and facilitating the learning of their fellow-scholars.  Teachers are “mentors” who encourage discussion through shared inquiry, rather than lecture, and act as guides to encourage the scholars to learn “how to think” rather than “what to think”.  Scholars are encouraged to reflect on and solidify their own thoughts by writing in “commonplace” books.  

3.     Strong code of conduct.  Scholars, parents and staff are expected to model a high standard of behavior.  Paradigm’s fluid and flexible structure is best suited to a disciplined scholar ready to proactively pursue their education.  A scholar who requires a high level of supervision and structure is not yet ready for a leadership education.                                             

4.     Application.  Many aspects of essential learning come only through experience and application.  Paradigm encourages relevant learning through projects, portfolios, experiential learning, coordinated subjects, apprenticeships, inquiry based learning, etc. 

5.     Mentoring.  At Paradigm, all the teachers are referred to as “mentors”.  This helps to instill the principle that we are all learning together as lifelong learners, and also that scholars are mentored in their personal pursuit of learning.  Each scholar receives a core mentor who acts as a resource to him or her for help and encouragement. 

6.     Focus on the love of learning, not grading.  Assessment is built on projects, portfolios, reasoning papers, oral reviews and other high-order thinking evaluation tools.  The central goal of learning is wisdom, not the grade. 

7.     Individual Mission.  Paradigm teaches that every person has gifts they need to develop and give to the world.  Scholars are encouraged to seek out the ways they might each be of benefit to society and to harness their knowledge, power and talents and apply them toward this end.                                                                                        

8.     Quality work.  Paradigm focuses on learning a few things well, rather than gaining a shallow knowledge of many things.  The scholar is allowed to revise his/her work until the finished product is Quality.   

9.     Leadership expectation.  Scholars are given opportunities for leadership, and they are also taught leadership through core classes.