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  • Why the mixing of pedagogies?
    Pedagogy (the science of how humans learn) is a dynamic field that changes almost daily. Yet, there have been methods of learning starting as long ago as the 1600’s that have been proven time and again to be the definitive way we process information, ideas and problems. In our estimation, there has never been a more complete, evidence-based curriculum than the Montessori Method. Make no mistake, Montessori has a terrible branding problem. The general public associates Montessori with endless freedom or Google-esque modernity or cultivating a sequestered learning environment. None of these things are true Montessori. Dr. Montessori was a scientist who invented the jungle gym, the school lunch, the PTA. Her materials and curriculum are based on hands-on learning, respecting children instead of reprimanding or corralling them and freedom within structure. The great travesty of her work is that its misunderstood. We’re changing that. Additionally, Project-Based Learning (or PBL) is popular now, but has been around since the beginning of humanity in the form of apprenticeship - the idea that we all learn by doing and we learn multiple things in that effort. Socratic Method is a highly effective way of solving problems, improving human communication and using several creative minds to inform one another. And Reggio-Emilia - although the newest pedagogy having been developed in the 1950s - adds an outstanding art and nature component using hundreds of materials including many from the natural world to create large-scale pieces that are meticulously displayed in the school and throughout the community.
  • But you mix these pedagogies with American traditional school elements?
    The idea of public school in America is a beautiful one full of possibilities and steeped in our country’s underlying hopeful ideals. We don’t believe it’s enough to put a child in a pedological school. Children need a full-bodied Performing Arts program; they need Sports which enhances sportsmanship, fosters healthy competition and movement; they need diversity, specifically economic diversity and an innate awareness of the community around them; and finally we want them to understand and experience civics - the history of our country and how the government works. After all, that was the original intent of American public schools 150 years ago.
  • So the American Emergent Curriculum (AEC) is a melding of these things?
    Yes. It’s taking what we know works in learning and combining those pedagogies with what we love about American traditional schools. We are not following tired models anymore. Montessori fighting with Waldorf or public fighting with private schools. The result is that the kids get lost and we wonder why we are where we are as a society. We have one shot from 0-12 years old to help these little humans be their best selves. There’s nothing more important. The answers are there - they’ve been there - but now we’re pulling them together under one umbrella.
  • How does the AEC compare to Common Core (CCSS)?
    What we’re saying is that we’re aware of the CCSS. We know our children are going to leave us and go into an environment where standards matter. However, for those children entering the lower grades, there is a shift occurring nationwide. Almost 1000 colleges do not require SATs for entrance any longer; the opt out movement on Long Island now counts 73% of parents as participants. The testing business has the same GDP as the National Football League. People get its nefarious nature. The landscape is changing. Our teachers have a working group that meets every Friday for three hours. There we discuss a number of things: individual children, curriculum adjustments and the Common Core. We look at the tests and ask: How can we present this to children without using just a pen and paper? How can we make it meaningful? So when they graduate from The School House not only can they ace whatever comes their way, they also understand the root of what they’ve learned… and by the way also have a great time learning it!
  • Who are the Founders of The School House Anywhere and the AEC?
    Two entrepreneurs… and they happened to be married! Mimosa Jones Tunney whose background is rich in government, non-profits, education and entertainment. And John Tunney who has been a successful hospitality developer and innovator most of his life as well as a respected entrepreneur outside of the hospitality industry with a particular connection to concept development, product invention and technology. Their inspiration came from their children, but also in simply looking at a problem from another viewpoint, using talented teachers in different ways, putting learners first, running a school like a small business, creating a culture and asking how can we do this old model better? Recently a non-profit called 4Oceans did a similar thing with pollution. Two surfers wanted to clean up the world’s oceans. To do that they needed people. In looking at the problem a different way, they approached fisherman around the world who could no longer make a decent living catching fish and outfitted them with the tools and money to collect (or fish for) plastic instead. Now they get paid by the pound of plastic instead of the pound of fish. For us it’s a similar journey. Take all these pedagogies that are fighting to be right, integrate them with our nostalgic love for American education and craft a new curriculum.
  • Why Are There No Films For Learners To Watch In TSHA?
    Children from 0-12 do not benefit from screens. In fact, new data is pointing to their harmful impact on childhood development and since you can barely escape them these days, the last place we want to further screen time is in a child’s learning environment. Studies have shown that children retain only 4% of what is taught via screen compared to nearly 70% when human interaction is a part of learning. Additionally, over 1 hour a day of screen time increases suicide ideation exponentially and decreases the amount of time spent in tactile environments. Sadly, thanks to the influence of Google Chromebooks in schools, children now spend an average of 9 hours a day on screens.
  • How Will I Know What Topics Are Being Discussed In The Live Workshops?
    Live workshops and their topics can be found on our calendar and are determined by the intensity of the lesson. For instance, most of our lessons are relatively straight forward. Others need more time and attention and are best given live.
  • Will I Be Able To View The Live Workshop Films Later If I Am Unable To Make It To The Live Sessions?
    Absolutely! The calendar will show you the topics scheduled for that day and the live workshops recordings will be housed in their respective subjects for future viewing.
  • If I Subscribe for the Year, When Will My Access To The Program End?
    One of the most exciting things for us about the American Emergent Curriculum and The School House is that our program is a live program. We all follow the same curriculum during the same time frame throughout the nation. That does not mean that all Learners “learn” the same. Quite the contrary, each Educator moves at their own pace. However, we will collectively be on the same topics during the six week session meaning that we can all learn and benefit from each other just like we do at The School House. The curriculum is released every six weeks so check back on the website for any new materials that are added when each portion of the curriculum is released Your access to the program will remain active for a month after school has ended for those of you that have decided to take the year a bit slower. We will then re-open the next Curriculum Petal when the new school year has started again in September.
  • I Am An Educator And I Have Made Some Fun Materials That Support What We Are Learning In The Curriculum. Is There A Place For Me To Share Them?
    We KNOW that if you have joined us, then you are on the same mission we are on, and that is to change school! We also know that we need a dedicated community to do that, as such a massive undertaking requires many brilliant minds. That is why we have created a space for sharing our work as Educators in our community petal: “Let’s Share”! Please feel free to share any and all of your personally created work and worksheets for the rest of the Members to utilize as we learn about the same topics.
  • Q: Can I tour one of your schools?
    A: Absolutely! Nothing would make us happier. Currently we have two options, one in NY and one in Florida. When are all on the same mission and our dream is to have our community members, including our Learners, regularly visit all of our locations!
  • What about homework? Don’t children need to know how to do it?
    We see that as similar to asking a 7 year old to practice gear shifting so they can drive a car when they reach 16. The preparation for driving a car is developing fine motor skills, spatial awareness and timing, not actually holding the wheel. Same with homework. Aside from cutting radically into family time, homework is seen to have two purposes: to cover work not covered in class and to teach responsibility and time management. We believe that with a fully integrated curriculum map and top-notch educators, we will cover academics thoroughly and beautifully. Second, if we want to teach responsibility and time management we can do it in tangible ways in our own homes. For instance, how many children make their beds every morning? That’s a great way to start preparation for responsibility because these soft skills are highly transferable - taking care of your room or completing an assignment are the same thing. Our practical answer to homework is Family Integration where we make certain that parents know what their children are learning every week so they can augment that learning. If we’re investigating the American Revolution, we’ll suggest taking a trip to the Nathen Hale monument in Huntington, hiking the Washington spy trail, or watching a documentary together on our first President.


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To Learn More About The School House Click Here & Donate Here. TSH is a non-profit private, montessori based elementary school located on Long Island NY.

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