MPA Now Fall 2018
A fundamental characteristic of an MPA education is preparing students to live, learn, and thrive in today's 21st century globalized society. As captured in the second part of our school motto, "Dream Big. Do Right.," we strive to empower students to challenge the status quo and improve our world in simple and mighty ways. Preparing students to be active, contributing members of their communities as adults requires that we begin that work while they are in school by helping each one find their own voice.
This edition of MPA Now focuses on student voice, which means engaging students in matters that affect them and giving them opportunities to shape the curriculum, culture, and climate of the school. Student voice includes, but is not limited to, effective communication. Student voice respects the "whole child," tapping into each student's emerging sense of self and identity to become active partners with their teachers in their own education.
Many people comment on the warm, nurturing, and healthy MPA school culture. There are many reasons why this is so, but an important factor is how the values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of students are purposely included in the classroom, divisions, and school. Gretchen Brion-Miesels, faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, writes, "The evidence is pretty clear that when organizations, including schools, give young people agency and voice, and integrate their perspectives into decision-making processes, those organizations are more effective in the work they're trying to do."
In this edition, you will read stories of how teachers intentionally seek, incorporate, and build upon the interests and passions of students when developing lessons and curricula. In addition, you will learn how students are engaged in problem-solving and decision-making within the school and their local community. Student voice not only results in joyful learning and a positive school culture, but also awakens and nurtures the capacity for each student to stir the human spirit, stand for justice, and make a difference in the world.
Mounds Park Academy Now, more than ever.
Dr. Bill Hudson
Head of School