Studying ecology in the Florida Everglades during an “Intensive”

Self-Directed Learning

At The New School, students learn how to take charge of their education. Their interests and passions are ignited by a wide range of choice in the curriculum and the experience of designing their own courses of study. Depending on their interests, learning might take place in our building or an art studio in NYC, on an island off the Maine coast or an organic farm in the Midwest, or in a remote village in Central America. Seminar-style classes, field studies, apprenticeships, interdisciplinary courses and three-week “Intensives” bring a depth of understanding that relatively few young people acquire, and build confident, accomplished, self-directed learners.

raising hand

Community service and environmental stewardship are core values of TNS and are woven into everyday life at the school. We recycle everything, compost our food wastes, learn to reuse and reduce, and are aware of our buying habits. Our students also become experts at applied democracy – they play a significant role in the governance of the school through a consensual decision-making process, and participate in the practice of citizenship in their communities — acquiring facilitation, communication and leadership skills.

Underlying TNS’s educational approach are the Guiding Principles of the ME Learning Results, which hold that all students should graduate from high school as:

  • Clear and effective communicators
  • Self-directed and lifelong learners
  • Creative and practical problem solvers
  • Responsible and involved citizens
  • Integrative and informed thinkers

By the time they graduate, The New School students know these principles by heart. Most importantly, they internalize them as skills and qualities that will serve them well throughout their lives.