MicroSociety Academy Charter School
The founders of MACS aims to prepare their children for college and post high school education as well as the 21st Century workplace by using their innovative, engaging, research-based, technology-infused instructional strategies within the MicroSociety learning environment. Within months of launching, students, with the guidance of teacher facilitators, are actively participating in the creation and operation of their own small society with its currency, bank, marketplace of student-made goods, restaurant, newspapers, publications, elected officials, a court system with lawyers and judges, “peace patrol” and more. Teachers enhance their standards-based instruction with the “real world” concepts students live ‘on the job” during the daily MicroSociety period and infuse those connections into their classrooms, taking the dry, abstract core curricula concepts and, wherever possible, linking them to a student’s concrete understanding of their MicroSociety and the real world experience. In this way, MicroSociety becomes an accelerant for the school’s intended outcomes.
One of the exciting differences for teachers working in a MicroSociety school is that although it is clear the core curriculum is used as the basis for instruction, there is still a good measure of creativity left for teachers to put their own relevant and unique MicroSociety spin on their lesson plans. For example, teachers incorporate MicroSociety concepts into lessons for grade 1 in “Counting Change”, grade 3 in “Advertising” and grade 5 in “Conducting Business Meetings”. The differentiated instruction and learning centers around the classroom might incorporate typical manipulative (i.e. blocks, legos, Popsicle sticks) and the individualized and independent level reading material typical of a rich children’s literature classroom library, as in any developmental classroom. THE difference is that the lessons also contain MicroSociety Strand manipulatives and readings that will relate directly to a student’s work experience solving their real world bank or marketplace math problems using the school currency, measuring crafts material for a product, completing simple profit/loss statements, and/or reading, responding and predicting outcomes to a story about a child operating some kind of business.
The classroom concepts are further reinforced later in the day with the students applying and scaffolding their curriculum as they problem solve the risks and opportunities that arise daily within the agencies and ventures of their own society. In these instances the teacher’s efforts to reinforce various core curricula concepts are augmented with the assistance of older student managers and with the collaboration of local community partners and mentors, field trips, internships, and community projects.
MACS leadership and staff note that when compared to past school experiences, graduates of MACS typically have a stronger economic foundation and better understanding of the intricacies of the work world and being a productive member of a democratic society. They are passionate about bringing MicroSociety to the Greater-Nashua area because they know first-hand how children and the community will benefit.