Lawrence Academy

Academics at Lawrence Academy

Director of Studies Chris EllsasserThe teachers at Lawrence Academy offer you a real opportunity. We want you to graduate knowing who you are. In order to discover who you are, you must figure out what the world means to you, what you think about art and literature and current world events. As you go off to college, we want you to feel confident in your intellectual strength; we want you to be an independent, creative thinker. We want you to share the sense of accomplishment of the senior who said, "I came to Lawrence a hockey player, and I left a person," or another senior who said, "Lawrence Academy has helped me develop into me."

In order to help you achieve this goal, we have designed a curriculum (view graduation requirements) and use teaching methods that invite you to become an active participant in your education. It is difficult to remain passive in our classrooms, for, instead of memorizing and regurgitating the thinking of others, most of your time is spent looking at evidence and drawing your own conclusions, formulating and testing your own hypotheses, developing and expressing your own vision of the world. Rather than speak like a parrot, you will develop your own voice.

It's hard work. It's much easier to memorize what someone else tells you are the three causes of the Civil War than it is to immerse yourself in all the confusing and conflicting voices of the early 1800s and figure out for yourself what caused this war. It's much easier to take notes in a lecture than to prepare yourself for a debate or seminar. It's easier to accept the answers of others than to question those answers.Because we know our demands are difficult, we work hard to prepare you to meet them. Starting in the ninth grade, we emphasize essential intellectual skills and habits: reasoning, reading, writing, questioning, research, speaking and listening. We also help you with study and organization skills. Although your education is ultimately your responsibility, you will find the teachers responsive to your needs and your requests for help. All of us believe deeply in the importance of your education—in your becoming the person you wish to become.

Chris Ellsasser
Director of Studies

Be sure to read our view book, fill out our online inquiry form, or give us a call to set up a visit.

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