In 1997, Madison Elementary School became Madison Exploratory School. The building had been closed as a school and used as a warehouse and maintenance shop since 1970. The historic renovation became the new home for the Exploratory learning model and community of students, parents, and staff. In 1992, Molly Merry founded the Exploratory Model. The student centered program was designed and based on Multiple Intelligences Theory, Project Based Learning, student self-responsibility, Choice Theory, and Multi-age Learning. The Madison building has been just one of many locations Exploratory called home on its journey to becoming a full sized elementary school with middle school as its next goal. What we learned is that Exploratory learning can work in any location because learning is not a school building; it is about our community of learners and their dedication to Exploratory as a way of life and a way of being.
Click the picture to read a story about the history of the Exploratory School, written by Molly Merry and illustrated by former Exploratory students. (Works best in Internet Explorer or Firefox. If you are using CHROME, right click on picture and select 'open link in new tab'.)
Molly Merry said it best when she said, "...the philosophy has been flexible and successful all these year because it is student centered and authentic...so it has weathered all of the latest and greatest 'innovations'. When a philosophy is based on how kids learn, the brain, internal motivation, and the unique gifts of every child, the external mandates can't destroy it."