Often first year college students who were getting straight A’s in high school find themselves getting B’s and sometimes C’s in college. Their professors comment and research finds that often secondary school assignments require only low level work such as memorize, describe, or locate. These questions are usually factual and samples of which are, “Can you name the …?” “How many…?” Most high schools follow this norm leaving their graduates ill-prepared for what they will be required to do on the college level.
Therefore, to address this current separation of academic focus, a new high school in Lincroft, N.J. called The Socrates School at Oak Hill Academy has designed its curriculum to answer the real needs of the 21st century learner. Their curriculum covers all the standard courses with an emphasis on the four C’s; namely collaboration, communications, creativity, and critical thinking. Students will value the work they are doing while they apply the knowledge that they are gaining from their math, science, literature, and social studies classes. To succeed in college, high school graduates must be able to interpret a narrative or a set of data. These are thinking skills that are necessary to do independent work, sustain effort, be inquisitive, search for detail, and produce high quality work. Repeating facts is not sufficient in today’s world where the individual at college or work will be asked to justify, verify, and predict. At the Socrates School, the course of study will be engaging, allowing the student to examine issues, argue points of view, and contrast opposing points of view.
The Socrates School’s daily schedule is divided into blocks, which give great flexibility to the learning process. In the school’s attempt to become one of the best schools in Monmouth County, New Jersey, their leaders have designed a learning platform that has an environment that is small enough to provide personalization. This innovative high school will be a break from tradition by infusing technology with the use of a Great Books approach using such classics as books from Homer, Plato, and Shakespeare, to name a few.
Truly being college ready also means that the high school graduate be able to deal with a high level of intellectual engagement while becoming problem finders and solvers. The college curriculum also challenges students to study philosophy, including ethics, and psychology. The Socrates School course of studies will also help develop students’ real-world appreciation of economics and business, with an emphasis on market forces, entrepreneurship, saving, borrowing and investing. Socrates students will use their imagination while they use project-based learning to investigate problems such as “plastic in the ocean” as they apply the principles of design thinking to investigate solution. Design thinking is used in industry, science, and business as people come together in a collaborative effort to troubleshoot, plan, model, test, and produce.
Beyond college, Socrates graduates will be able to understand our economics system, and have oral proficiency as they have developed their ability in their personal, civic, social, and professional lives. The Socrates School’s mission statement makes this clear:
At Socrates, we nurture young adults to be thriving human beings, engaged U.S. citizens, and mission driven contributors to society.
The Socrates School at Oak Hill Academy is the High School of the future, today! The school is currently accepting applicants for its 9th and 10th grades in September.