The Lyceum is founded on a melding of three major sources of influence.
I. The lyceums of Greek antiquity were places of enquiry, based on the notion of peripatetic thought which, in that context, translated literally to “walking into thought”. Untethered to a fixed curriculum, these outdoor schools were hubs of collaboration and nexus points for the exchange of ideas in subjects ranging from mathematics to philosophy. Our modern, urban context of Queen Street West provides a fertile ground for investigation.
II. Like the trade guilds of the past, Lyceum students forge working associations with artists, community organizations and mentors of different disciplines. These relationships provide hard skills and access to tools. Their work is real work and they are given opportunities to show in The Lyceum Gallery the school shares space with.
III. Maria Montessori saw adolescence as a time for preparation of the human spirit for meaningful participation in society. Erdkinders were farm-based settings that provided the context for students to apply knowledge and take on responsibility for outcomes. Our context is downtown Toronto, so our program must meet its time and place, while still fulfilling the developmental need for immersive, real life learning. Each year, students develop a Praxis Project, a business or enterprise that they must create and run. This year, they are starting a radio station.
“Individuals passing from one stage of independence to a higher one, by means of their own activity, through their own effort or will, constitutes the inner evolution of the individual.” Maria Montessori
We have broken subjects of study into three categories in the interest of providing an overview of the academic curriculum, however, the real point to any Montessori education is the idea that education should be truly, cosmically multidisciplinary. Studies in math, science and geography help provide an understanding of the structure of the physical world while the arts offer a means of expression. Texts can act as a record of time and place or create a narrative for social change. Stories guide most of the work we do in The Lyceum and this year, there will be a particular focus on food and migration. Peace Work, meanwhile, furnishes the bigger purpose: to build a better world through conscious consideration and care of ourselves, others and our environment.
Underlying our studies is the belief that ideas generated may take on many forms and the matertialization of those ideas can in turn influence each other to change the proposed outcome of a course of study, leading to the satisfaction of discovery.