Flexible. Personal. Engaging.
Traditional education is focused on content knowledge and uniformity of outcomes. NGL Academy focuses on the learners and fostering the development of the skills, habits of mind, and ways of thinking that will enable learners to realize their dreams. In an era where any fact is just a quick query away, and where even skills become obsolete over time, the content-centric view of education rooted in a factory model of schooling no longer serves.
The Academy is designed and led by veteran educators, including the founder, and former directors of curriculum and instruction from the Stanford Online High School, who are now integrating the best of their insights with a face-to-face school experience.
The learning model used by the Academy provides one of the most personalized approaches available to learning for high school students, without isolating them with online learning. All learning is built on student-driven exploration, relevant presentation of material, social learning, and other elements of what works in learning today.
Teachers are Mentors
The teachers at the Academy are learning mentors and coaches, offering resources, questions, and challenges, engaging interaction, and substantive constructive feedback rather than a series of lectures and tests.
Learners in Charge
The Academy uses the Opportunity Education Next Generation Learning™ platform, which uses mobile and web technology to power learning, allowing students maximum choice and flexibility to drive their education.
The Academy offers a very low 12:1 student/mentor ratio, which is further lowered by additional subject matter experts who are available to students. This stands in stark contrast to a typical private school class size of 16-20, or the standard public school class size of over 30 students.
The Academy develops the whole student: it fosters self-skills, social skills, and global competencies alongside academic knowledge. It also provides students meaningful opportunities to act in the world, to discover what really motivates them, and to learn how to become an agents of their own destiny.
Evolution of the NGL Ideal
Young people need a new mindset and new skills. With the world changing faster than ever before, the concepts of work, and of “a job,” are undergoing dramatic change as well. It is no longer enough to learn a specific set of knowledge or skills, and hope to find a job that matches. Young people today need skills to keep learning -- retooling and improving existing skills, and expanding meta-skills like design thinking and creative problem solving.
Current approaches to education cannot solve this problem because they are predominantly content/information centric, and are driven by publishers, testing requirements, and an expectation that education should resemble what came before. This is why technology is all too often used to make outdated educational models more efficient, instead of helping to turn education in a more student-centric direction.
Education needs a radical evolution that puts learners at the center of the action, and enables them to grow the skills they need to succeed. It should help young people develop growth-oriented skills and knowledge that are well-matched to a rapidly changing world. Great educational models recognize that this requires a combination of learning science, technology, new materials, and different conceptions of teaching, of how classrooms work, and of how progress is evaluated.
Next Generation Learning: an innovative tech platform that gives students freedom to pursue interests while enabling mentors to ensure that all students are challenged and achieving their educational goals.
How NGL Differs from Other Educational Options
Philosophy We believe that growth is deeply personal, and that each individual must find his or her own path to success. Our approach to learning is to provide individuals with the context, resources, and mentor support to make good decisions about their growth, and to unleash their drive to learn. Few other educational models focus on the authority and responsibility of the individual learner, taking collectivist approaches where teachers or other authorities make decisions about ‘what is best for learners.’
Learning Model While our model shares attributes with problem-based learning, our core principles are unique: we believe it is most important to empower individuals through iterative growth driven by exploration, practice and feedback, authentic evaluation, and relentless focus on skills’ development over information acquisition.
Platform A web/mobile ecosystem that structures the learning process in full alignment with the philosophy and priorities of NGL. No other school offers such an alignment between environment and methodology, because most are based on a generalized set of features for current needs.
Curriculum Rather than building the curriculum from traditional textbooks and basic standards, we have created our own relevant and engaging materials – called “quests” – that integrate the best of available resources and information in alignment with our teaching philosophy and learner-focused model. The platform also enables mentors and even students to create quests and publish them to the platform, creating the option of inexpensive, locally relevant materials.