Pathfinder classrooms operate in two-year “loops”, enabling each student two years with the same teacher. Children in a mixed age classroom experience a much wider range of group roles than in single age classroom. Each student has the opportunity to be an elder, a leader, and a role model in the classroom. Kids who had been followers take on leadership roles and blossom into strong leaders and role models. Every year, only half of the classroom will have new students, which allows a teacher to pay more attention to each new student.
- Mentorship: older students can act as mentors for younger students. Younger students have the benefit of mentors.
- Stability: students return to a second year in a classroom with the same teacher.
- Culture: Half of one classroom of new kids each year means our classroom culture carries forward each year.
- Individualization: There are a lot of different levels in a mixed age classroom, and a teacher is able to individualize and have kids working at their own levels, at their own paces.
- Math: Classes are split by grade level for Math, allowing teachers to become experts at one grade level.