The College of Early Learning offers a genuine, rational alternative to a traditional education. The most essential feature of this alternative is the Environment for Discovery, enriched and structured to facilitate the student’s acquisition both of learning skills and of knowledge in a hierarchical manner, guided only by his own observations and motivated solely by his own intellectual curiosity. It is an environment within which the student can safely and securely enjoy the maximum level of individual liberty to grow in rationality, productivity, and pride, thereby maintaining a benevolent sense of life and a love of learning, while achieving an inviolate self-esteem and a genuine happiness founded upon uncompromised integrity and independent self-discipline.
In designing and maintaining the Environment for Discovery, the College of Early Learning applies techniques and apparatus developed by Montessori, Piaget, Papert, and associates of the New Banner Institute, within the framework of an objectivist theory of concept-formation. Since each student has his own unique capabilities and requirements, such techniques and apparatus must be individually employed, must be epistemologically sound, and must be contextually apropos.
Thus, classroom directors undergo practical training in the Montessori method and complete rigorous courses of study in epistemology and psychoepistemology. This experience and knowledge serve them in the preparation of the environment by the careful selection and development of those specific components and practices that best facilitate each student’s intellectual and psychological development. This task is augmented at the primary level by a six-to-one student/director ratio, allowing close observation of each student’s sensorimotor, perceptual, and conceptual development by directors specializing in specific areas of academic development. At the elementary and secondary levels, directors respond to the student’s intellectual curiosity by providing each student with opportunities to pursue his own interests and to develop his own special skills and talents.
Just as rational men throughout history have employed the methodology of scientific discovery, so students at the College of Early Learning seek understanding in the Aristotelian tradition of objectivity. As the human embryo’s physical growth reflects the evolution of man, so the student’s intellectual growth reflects the evolution of science. A child in the Environment for Discovery not only relives the experiences of mankind’s intellectual growth and development but also maintains an awareness of his own growth. He reformulates each concept from its embryonic stage to successive levels of complexity or simplicity and rediscovers nature’s secrets directly from reality, without the interference of a teacher, as did an historical procession of philosophers and scientists before him. Working in contact with students of all ages, he acquires, not only a genuine understanding of his work, but also a strong self-concept as an independent member of the class of all human beings, from infants to adults, rather than as a member of some “peer group”, segregated by age (or other characteristic) and subject to corresponding “peer pressures”. Motivated by rational self-interest and supremely confident in his abilities to create and to learn, he proceeds with his own original constructions and unique transformations on a joyous quest for self knowledge and scientific discovery.