When you hear anything about a Success Academy school, you will often hear how high their students’ test scores are, and how few discipline problems they have. Considering many public schools in New York City have low test scores and out-of-control discipline problems, you are probably wondering how does Success Academy do it?
How do they avoid the problems public schools usually have, and how have they helped their students excel?
Hands-on learning and fun — Success Academy’s philosophy is to introduce a strict and rigorous curriculum to their students at a very young age but, while doing so, also make it fun to learn.
They manage that by having their students involved in hands-on learning for most of each day, and by making what they learn fun.
So, while other public school students in New York learn about science by listening to a teacher speak, Success Academy students learn by dissecting squids, programming the software for a working robot or conducting experiments and then looking at the results like a real scientist would.
This hands-on learning is carried over into every subject at a Success Academy school. As learning is fun, and students are encouraged to get involved, to problem solve and to learn critical thinking while they are doing so, instead of fooling around in class, Success Academy students are working hard.
As activities are fun at school as well, Success Academy students go to school every day as, if they do not, they know they may miss something interesting.
Discipline is also key — Even though learning is looked at as being fun, however, Success Academy schools still have strict guidelines for how their students are expected to behave.
Arriving on time is key, as is arriving wearing appropriate clothing for school. Paying attention in class, working on projects and not letting others do their work for them, is also expected. As is hard work in every subject they take.
If students arrive at school in inappropriate clothes, do not work hard, or act up in class, the consequences can be quite severe.
With just this mix of making education fun, and instilling respect in their students for good behavior and hard work, Success Academy has been able to help a large percentage of their students get test scores that were otherwise unheard of from public school students.