Why MA?

21st Century Competencies

“21st Century learning” has become such a catch phrase in today’s educational landscape that it has lost much of its value for describing the rapidly-changing landscape in which we live—and the ways in which today’s graduates must differ from those of twenty years ago. Marin Academy recognizes these societal shifts; our goal is to graduate students who aren’t just knowledgeable and adept in a variety of subjects, but who also have the ability to thrive in and contribute to our ever-shifting world. As such, we have identified five essential competencies for our graduates:

  • Demonstrated Empathy Students utilize cross-cultural awareness and emotional intelligence to understand and appreciate difference, privilege, and their connection to others in a global community with integrity and gratitude.
  • Imaginative Curiosity Students use their imagination, content knowledge, inquiry skills, and passion to wonder, explore ideas, solve problems, and create.
  • Intellectual Flexibility Students work both collaboratively and individually to embrace academic and intellectual challenge, using multiple perspectives and evidence to support, challenge, and refine their arguments. They can persuade—using evidence based on sound research—and they can be persuaded to change their minds.
  • Compelling Expression Students effectively articulate their ideas, feelings, and passions through arts and languages, and are proficient in multiple modes of written, oral, artistic, and media communication and presentation.
  • Strategic Boldness Students use a growth mindset and reflection to collaborate, courageously engage, and take healthy risks to gain confidence, leadership, and resilience. They are biased toward action, and use their educational and other gifts toward impacting their communities and world.
To assist our students in developing and strengthening these competencies, our program—academic and co-curricular—focuses on the following:
 

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  • > Cooperative Learning

    Cooperative learning is working together to learn from and with each other.



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  • > CREATIVITY

    Creativity thrives when an educational environment fosters varied approaches to tasks and minimizes, at all costs, student intellectual self-censorship.

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  • > CRITICAL THINKING

    Critical thinking is a mode of engaging with any content in an analytical and reflective way, where the thinker seeks to understand through an expansive examination of the subject’s or problem’s existing characteristics and larger contextual relationships.

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  • > EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

    Experiential learning is focused on the process of learning—rather than end product—through experience, reflection, and application.




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  • > INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGE

    Intellectual challenge encourages students to cultivate their curiosity; to take risks with their thinking and to learn from failure and perseverance; to open up new perspectives and possibilities; to focus on how to find an answer more than what the presumed right answer may be.

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  • > INTERDISCIPLINARY

    Interdisciplinary education breaks free of traditional pedagogical molds while utilizing the expertise provided by disciplinary-specific teaching.




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  • > TRANSDISCIPLINARY

    Transdisciplinary Learning begins with practical questions, and, while leaning on traditional disciplinary understanding, moves beyond the scope of disciplinary skill and content to generate novel responses to complex real-world issues.


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  • > WHOLE STUDENT

    Whole student education is a wholistic approach providing opportunities for cognitive, social, emotional, physical, creative, and ethical development in a variety of venues and experiences.


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