At the core of Beacon’s philosophy is the tenet that students’ unique perspectives fuel education. We believe that we have a great deal to learn from our students, and that it is our role as educators to guide, challenge, empower, and inspire–not to dictate or confine. Our philosophy is defined by the following five principles:
I. Individualized Education
The hallmark of a Beacon education is our individualized approach. We believe that every student can harness his or her own learning style and flourish under the guidance of committed teachers and mentors. This means that each student, from our youngest to oldest, is involved in course selection and program design. Additionally, our individualized approach gives the unique advantage of offering extra challenge or support on a course-by-course basis, rather than assigning students to an overarching “track” that defines their experience. This approach can offer students an otherwise elusive balance in the classroom.
II. Intellectual Inquiry
A key aspect of the individualized programs at Beacon is an inherent focus on intellectual inquiry. Students are encouraged to think across the curriculum, engage in interdisciplinary exploration, and discover learning not as an accumulation of facts, but a pursuit of understanding. To this end, students who express a strong interest in a certain subject are encouraged to explore it through coursework and independent study. Courses can be built with a definite focal point in mind, or evolve as a student's interest is piqued. There is no limit to course selection, and our teachers work with students to assure that they are continually engaged and inspired by their learning.
III. Compassionate Community
The Beacon community is founded on mutual respect between students, teachers and administrators. When students are engaged in a positive learning environment, they become more willing to take risks and grow as individuals. We find that our relationship-based approach leads to teachers assuming a mentorship role with their students; there is constant dialogue and interaction, in and out of the classroom. Within the student body, there is a daily emphasis on interpersonal virtues such as kindness, courtesy, empathy, and respect for differences. Beacon aims to foster in our students a lifelong commitment to and awareness of others.
IV. Academic Excellence
At Beacon, we understand that self-esteem and self-efficacy are born of real accomplishment. For this reason, the centerpiece of each student’s program is his or her areas of strength. We challenge our students to achieve their goals and equip them with the tools they need to excel.
V. Self-Directed Learning
Under the guidance of our motto, “Find your own light”, each student plays an integral role in creating his or her course of study at Beacon. This is the perfect opportunity for students to follow their interests and create their own learning experience. Self-directed learning fosters intellectual curiosity, intrinsic motivation, a sense of ownership and a desire to learn, whether it manifests as a love for mathematics, expressionist painting, mechanical engineering, foreign languages, elite athletics or violin performance. Beacon students relish the opportunity to build programs that reflect their passions and help them realize personal goals. Their input is not only heard; it is actively solicited on a daily basis.