Apprenticeship










“Developmentally, Hayground’s Apprenticeship Program is particularly useful at this age, allowing students to expand their boundaries and assume responsibility... Internships are usually offered in college, but during the middle school years it is about the expansion of minds, about hands on experience, and understanding how knowledge can be useful in the larger world.”
Dr. Bettina Volz, Psychologist


1) From the age of three students at Hayground participate in the apprentice/mentor model of learning.  Working alongside a professional who is deeply engaged in a job or activity, such as Jon in the art studio or Sarah in the science lab, affords students the opportunity to actively engage in different disciplines rather than simply study them.  As Hayground students get older their educational needs change,  (See paragraph one from the Hayground Older Group).  Hayground has designed the apprenticeship program to suit these needs.  While keeping with our daily goals for children, the apprenticeship program extends their learning beyond the classroom.  As an apprentice in an organization/business, our students must exhibit: independence, confidence, self-motivation, mastery, and interpersonal skills in our local community.   
 
 
2) As with the rest of our educational goals at Hayground, the underlying goal for this program is to make sure each student is deeply engaged in reading, writing, and working with numbers in ways that both engage and intellectually stretch them.  The apprenticing experience of every student is deepened in the classroom in the form of creatively focused scholarship. The projects vary from student to student. One teacher is responsible for overseeing their whole program, providing continuity to their experience, and helping them link different aspects of their work.
 
 
3) Each year students in the class are assigned work in which adults, other than the Hayground faculty, provide them with feedback.  One of these projects is an essay which historically has been assigned by Dr. Susan Engel, Professor of Development Psychology at Williams College. Dr. Engel assigns a topic for an essay that each student must work on independently of parent and/or teacher assistance.  Much of the writing program for the year is geared towards supporting the students becoming adept communicators and skilled writers.  
 
 
4) Each spring the students determine an area of study that they want to delve into.  They are assigned a faculty advisor, and engage in intensive and focused research.  This study culminates in a performance of what is learned in the Senior Learner Presentations.  Interesting and knowledgeable adults from outside the Hayground teaching and parent community are asked to come and evaluate the work of this group of students.  The students present their work to this committee and the members give each student feedback.  This kind of meaningful forum for scholarship is immensely beneficial to our students; it makes them responsible for their learning in contexts that extend beyond the classroom.   The following are just some of the projects developed by our students:   A Short History of the Atomic Bomb, French Cuisine, Narrative Photography, Stories of Immigrants, Nature Photography, Early Childhood Teaching, The Teaching of Reading, The Solar System, The Photography of Movement, Native American Cuisine, and A Biography of Coco Chanel.