The Key Learning Community is a public elementary school and middle school in Indianapolis, Indiana. The schools are housed in one building with the elementary school on the first floor and the middle school on the second floor. Both schools are based on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and hope eventually to be housed in one building covering grades K-12. The schools were designed by a group of teachers and a principal who believe that children need the opportunity to develop all of their seven intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal), not just the linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences that are the focus of most schools. The children who attend these schools choose to come and are selected by lottery. Once students are enrolled, they maintain their enrollment throughout their K-8 career.
Because instructional strategies encompass all of the intelligences and students are provided many intelligence-based opportunities to learn, it is not surprising that student assessment also is conducted differently from that in more traditional public schools. Each year, the school chooses three themes to guide the student's work. At the end of each theme, each student presents a project based on that theme using any and all of the intelligence areas. Students may use any of their intelligences to showcase their project; for example, some students may develop a skit or play, some may write poetry or produce an artistic interpretation of the theme, and some may write a paper discussing their understanding of the theme. The students' presentations of their projects are videotaped, and each student has a video portfolio. Students still must take standardized tests as required by the Indianapolis Public School District and the State of Indiana. However, while students do well on standardized assessments, the results of these exams are believed to be a very narrow reflection of what Key students know and can do.
The Key Learning Community presents a series of two-day summer institutes that provide numerous details about their program and assessment strategies.
Principal: Christine Kunkel
The Key Learning Community
777 South White River Parkway West Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46221
(317) 226-4992; fax (317) 226-3049
For more information, contact:
Mary Ann Sullivan, Public Relations
222 E. Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-226-4992 or 4996