Our school, Edgewood Magnet School, is an arts-integrated setting with a focus on providing a positive learning environment that encourages inquiry, self discovery and independent thinking. This approach to learning inherently allows for, supports and encourages cross-curricular teaching and embraces all types of learners. The neighborhood provides a rewarding environment, with students coming to school each day from across the city and from a variety of home circumstances. The challenges of most urban schools exist at Edgewood as well: differing levels of background knowledge, life experiences, and academic skills mean the students have many levels of needs. We strive to provide for those needs through accessibility and inclusion.
Traditional education for many years in this country provided a skewed perspective of how America became America. Movies and television shows repeated much of what was taught in school, with rather a singular view of good guys and bad guys or right and wrong. This could not be truer than in the history of the American Indian.
Although our lives are now filled with information easily accessed from many platforms not just movies, television, or textbooks, it is important to just look at the real world right outside our homes. New Haven is rich with history of American Indians who inhabited this land, the Algonquians. Their lives inform us about our area of America and give us a foundation to compare our world with theirs. Taking a place-based approach to learning, this unit introduces students to some previous residents who lived right here for thousands of years.