Carden Overview

A Proven Educational Philosophy

The Carden Method® is a proven educational philosophy that presents a sequential and interrelated curriculum for children in preschool through eighth grade. The method is based upon founder Mae Carden’s principle that it is a school’s responsibility to “teach a child how to think, not what to think”. To achieve this end, Miss Carden developed a curriculum that capitalized on her intuitive understanding of how children learn rather than focusing simply on what they should know.

The Carden Method® provides a strong academic training that stresses the interrelationship of subject matter. Each grade builds on the solid foundation established in the grades below, ensuring continuity from year to year. The student receives a thorough liberal arts education that will prepare him/her for the challenges to come. The child is instructed in “The Language of Numbers” ensuring mastery of math, including both concrete practical skills and the abstract application of mathematical principles. Howard students are on track to complete honors-level Algebra by the end of eighth grade. French, Art, Music, Drama, Computers, and P.E. are an integral part of each child’s daily experience. The breadth of instruction allows each child to experience the natural unfolding of the mind.

The Howard School strives to educate the whole child. The Carden classroom is organized in such a way that the learning is highly individualized, meeting the unique needs of each child. Because instruction is given in small groups (three to six children per group), the Carden teacher gets to know each child’s personality and learning style.

An emphasis on respect and consistent expectations enables the teacher to maintain a calm and cheerful atmosphere. The natural rhythm of the classroom develops both mental and emotional stamina. The child learns to manage his/her time, and organize materials. Emotional and personal growth are fostered through personalized guidance and active instruction in conflict resolution. The result of this approach is that the child develops the concentration and control necessary to think from within.

In Miss Mae Carden’s words:

“The purpose of education is not to raise spectators. To become a spectator is to be robbed of all the experience of creation and all the normal emotional outlets. A spectator has to be constantly entertained from without and so loses his peace of mind that comes from thinking from the inside out. He loses this step of development that gives freedom of expression.”

Quality Teaching—Successful Learning