The story of HGMICS:
The current Howard Gardner MI Charter School has a long and prestigious history, originally forming in 1975 as The Children’s Learning Workshop in a small red schoolhouse on Albright Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Through the years the school incorporated many educational reforms, first as a Montessori-based program, then, later, as a Laboratory School.
In 2005 the school was reorganized as the Howard Gardner School for Discovery. The new name reflected both the school’s unique niche in the community as a private, non-sectarian laboratory school, and gave credit to Howard Gardner, whose theory of Multiple Intelligences formed the framework of our school’s curriculum and philosophy. An esteemed Harvard professor, Howard Gardner authored the now groundbreaking work on Multiple Intelligence Theory, Frames of Mind.
Gardner is a Scranton native whose work in school reform with Harvard’s Project Zero is world renowned. He has authored more than 20 books on education and cognition and has also penned several hundred articles on a variety of subjects that impact learning. In 2005 he was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. That same year, our school faculty got to meet Dr. Gardner when they made a presentation at the 2005 NALS Conference in New York. The conference was hosted by Columbia University and Bank Street School and Gardner was one of the Keynote speakers. Gardner also delivered the Keynote address for the 2006 NALS Symposium that was hosted in Scranton by our school.
The Howard Gardner School for Discovery thrived for many years, until the decision was made in 2012 to transition from the school’s long-time status as a private school and become a public charter school. The decision to become a public charter school was made in order to broaden the school’s reach; as a tuition-free choice school, the Howard Gardner MI Charter School offers increased educational opportunities for all children, regardless of their economic standing.
After a successful first year as a charter school, HGMICS moved from its historic North Scranton location to the East Mountain neighborhood, purchasing the former Friendship House building on East Elm Street. This larger facility allowed the school to add additional classrooms and expand its programming, all in a beautiful rural location with access to local parks and outdoor spaces.
As a laboratory charter school, part of our mission is to improve the practice of teaching. On any given day, preservice teachers from local colleges and universities visit our classrooms to observe and work with our teachers. Our connection to Howard Gardner and his theories has served as a framework for our school vision. We are one of a small group of so-called Multiple Intelligence (MI) schools in the United States, and one of only two that bear his name.
Our focus on every child’s innate intelligence and potential exemplifies the MI approach to teaching and learning. Our students come to us filled with experiences and understandings of their world. It is our job to broaden their understanding and challenge their potential with a curriculum that is both exciting and rigorous. A combination of a well-trained faculty and small class sizes help us enable our students to truly discover learning through inquiry and their own unique experiences.