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What Are Microschools And Why Are They Gaining Traction? Explained

Advocates believe this trend will continue to grow because more families desire educational choices. However, some are concerned about oversight of these schools.

What Are Microschools And Why Are They Gaining Traction? Explained
Microschools have existed for some time but gained increased attention during the pandemic.

Microschools, emerging as a new form of very small private schools, are gaining popularity in the United States and the United Kingdom. These schools usually accommodate fewer students than traditional classrooms and have gained increased attention due to shifts in parental preferences during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Educational Structure And Curriculum

Microschool students are often registered as homeschoolers with their respective states. These institutions operate throughout most of the week, employing full-time teachers who adhere to structured curricula, sometimes including assessments. According to The New York Times, there are approximately 95,000 microschools and homeschooling groups in the US, educating over 1 million students.

Funding Sources

Citing the National Microschooling Center, The Hill reports that 63% of microschools' funding comes directly from parents through tuition fees, supplemented by 32% from state-funded school choice programs.

Start-Up And Operation

While anyone can establish a microschool, many founders are educators in the US. These schools have flexibility in their teaching subjects, including religious interpretations of science and history. Unlike traditional schools, they may not undergo safety inspections, and staff may not be mandated to undergo background checks.

Educational Philosophy And Concerns

Microschools blend elements of traditional schooling and homeschooling, offering diverse educational philosophies. Advocates believe this model meets the growing demand for educational choices. However, there are concerns regarding oversight and accountability.

Characteristics

Microschools typically enroll between 100 to 150 students, with small class sizes of 10 to 15 students. They group students across different ages and emphasize an emergent curriculum that adapts to individual learning paces rather than strictly adhering to grade-level progressions. These schools aim to provide personalized education at lower costs compared to traditional institutions.

Instructional Approach

Instead of relying on traditional textbooks, microschools employ hands-on projects, discussions, and activities as primary learning tools. Maker spaces are integrated into the learning environment to foster invention literacy, making art and design integral parts of everyday lessons.

Learning Environment

Students gather twice a week in shared learning spaces, using online resources or a flipped classroom model where they watch video lectures at home and engage in collaborative projects during class time. Technology plays a significant role in these classrooms, facilitating learning, assessment, and creativity.

Microschools are changing the educational landscape and offering families who want individualised learning experiences new and creative possibilities by fusing the best elements of homeschooling and traditional schooling.

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