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Carden Academy is an independent, non-denominational private school located in Pukalani, in Upcountry Maui. Founded in 1998, the school serves children in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade, with one class per grade and a maximum enrollment of 144 students.
Carden Academy is based on the philosophy of Mae Carden (1894-1977), the renowned educator who founded the Carden Method that is used by more than 70 schools across the United States.
Mae Carden explained that her philosophy involves proven teaching techniques and individualized attention that allow for the natural unfolding of the mind, personality and capacities of each student. The integrated curriculum emphasizes the interrelationships of the content of subjects studied.
In its goal of developing the whole child, the Carden Academy education features a number of qualities that sets it apart from other schools:
Academic Achievement: Laying foundation stones of learning, enhanced by the ability to interconnect academic, social, and artistic skills, sprinkled with humor and service. In addition to Carden’s core curriculum in verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, and naturalist intelligences, students are immersed in the French language, Physical Education and Athletics, and the development of 21st Century skills. Carden philosophy recognizes the unlimited potential of each child.
Small Class Size: Each grade is limited to sixteen students, enhancing for each student the opportunities for personalized attention and exposure to an array of intelligence experiences and activities.
Enrichment through the Arts: Recognizing artistic expression that comes from within, Carden Academy offers a curriculum that includes Dance and Drama, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts and Art History, and Music (vocal, instrumental, and music appreciation). In addition, school performances throughout the year celebrate seasons, holidays, culture, and Hawaiiana.
Character Education: Carden Academy seeks to instill values and virtues to last a lifetime. Character training is a central element of the educational scheme from the earliest years. Students learn that concern for others enhances their own well-being and enriches their learning experiences.
Nurturing Environment: By fostering a joy of learning, the Carden Method awakens children “to the realization that learning is a privilege, an answer to an inner need, and a very interesting adventure” (Mae Carden). Carden’s pleasant, purposeful atmosphere serves to make school a positive experience where children are engaged and encouraged to do their best.
Middle School Curriculum: In addition to these features, the Middle School curriculum involves real-world problem solving projects, so that knowledge and skills are acquired through an extended inquiry process. The goal is to produce students who “think globally and act locally”. Project-based learning is a rigorous, relevant, and engaging instructional model that enhances the quality of learning. The school also incorporates 21st century skills and proficiencies into the curricula to produce students ready for the world beyond the classroom. Middle School also offers electives that involve Maui community members who provide mentoring and service-learning experiences in small, nurturing groups that increase the personal attention directed to each student.
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