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From the head

In traditional academic settings, the learning triangle emphasizes the primary connection of the Teacher to the Subject. This determines the third vertex - the Student. At Hyde, we strive to focus on the relationship between the Teacher to the Student as they explore the Subject together. The educational focus shifts from the subject to the student. When the Learning Triangle is working, the teacher becomes more of a coach than a professor and the student becomes more of an initiator than a follower. 

Hyde teachers strive to be facilitators of learning rather than just providers of knowledge that is to be absorbed and then regurgitated back at the appropriate time. The goal is to inspire and develop curious inquiry and intrinsic motivation to explore what is known. It is not always easy, and it can be a daily challenge to help students move out of the traditional mindset. One of the ways to help students is to create assignments and themes that encourage that partnership connection and can ignite excitement about learning. Here are just a few recent assignments given to students:

  • The Seniors in ENG 12 are working on a group project called: "An AI Proposal for the Hyde Classroom." They are researching different aspects of AI as well as historical trends in education in order to create a proposal on how AI should and should not be used in educating young people for life in the 21st-century world.
  • In the history class, "Aliens and UFOs: Fact or Fiction?," students are asked to explore historical accounts of UFO sightings and alien encounters and discuss the evolution of beliefs about these subjects over time.
  • In another history class, the group is working on argumentative discussion posts and will present infographics in class about Mesoamerica. They will be connecting this to the idea of Manifest Destiny, specifically as it relates to the Mexican/American War.   
  • The senior government class is heading into what we call the Hamilton-Jefferson Debates. A long-standing tradition at Hyde, these debates about ratifying the constitution of the United States still have relevance because they laid the philosophical foundation for the two political parties of today. Students have been chosen to represent either the Federalist or Anti-Federalist side and debate the merits of their relative positions. 

  • Life Management Skills is working on problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking as students earn their certification from the American Heart Association in Adult CPR and AED. This portion of the class culminates with students participating in mock scenarios of emergency situations.

  • Music Studies is learning the fundamentals of guitar by learning how to play "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by the Clash. They also took a field trip to The Music Store in Topsham to learn about guitar repair. 

Intellectual excellence is within the reach of every student, regardless of their past history with traditional classroom learning. Firstly, however, a student must connect to a teacher and then connect to their best learning attitude. 


Laura D. Gauld '76

Archive: From the Head