• Member Guide

      A brief introduction to the Dexter platform

    • Welcome to Dexter

      Founded in 2017 by a group of scientists and engineers, Dexter is a revolutionary education system that brings together innovative learning spaces, an interdisciplinary curriculum and a fully integrated online learning platform. Rethink everything you think you know about how a school should work. It's time to dramatically raise your expectations for your children, it's time to create a generation of geniuses

    • Our Educational Philosophy

      Dexter is informed by the educational philosophy of constructionism, pioneered by Seymour Papert (creator of Lego Mind Storms and the Logo programming language). In a constructionist framework, learning is student-centric and active. Our members learn through direct participation versus passive observation and engage in activities and projects that are immediately relevant and meaningful to their lives. Instead of blindly memorizing the form of a linear equation (y=mx+b), members actively apply the concept in a concrete way (i.e. create their own artificial intelligence program). Meaningful application leads to improved understanding, engagement and retention. This approach fills learning with purpose and a desire on the learner's part to learn the content on their own free will and accord. The research is clear, without an inherent desire to learn the content, no amount of educational intervention will ever succeed.
       
      In order to fill learning with meaning, the role of the educator at Dexter is fundamentally different than a traditional school where teachers teach at students through formal lectures. The traditional teacher/student relationship of the industrial age conditions learners to the idea that they need a teacher in order to learn new skills and ideas. In the age of information abundance and a rapidly changing global economy, this conditioning limits one of the most important meta skills for the knowledge age - the ability to become a self learner. At Dexter, educators are mentors and coaches, instead of lecturer's. Rather than teaching at a learner, our educators assistant, inspire and mediate learners towards achieving their learning goals by motivating the educational content and helping each learner become an autodidact. The skill set required to do this is a significant departure from the traditional educator mentality and requires specialized educator training and selection. Dexter educators tend to be actual practitioners and thus have a deep appreciation for the 'why' behind the learning - engineers, scientists, mathematicians, architects, computer scientists, artists, writers, accountants and the like make the ideal Dexter educator.

    • Curriculum for the Knowledge Age

      Cognitive Tools and Powerful ldeas

    • Curriculum for the Knowledge Age

      The Dexter curriculum is informed by the work of Kieran Egan (an imaginative education) and Alan Kay (powerful ideas). Our curriculum begins with the premise that learners minds aren't vessels to be filled with information, but a fire to be kindled. What follows from this recognition is a departure from teaching the memorization of isolated facts and shifts towards an interdisciplinary curriculum aimed at developing a well rounded human that will thrive in the knowledge age. This approach leads to an increase in both depth and breadth where learners tackle areas of human knowledge previously thought out of reach for young learners. The sequencing of our curriculum is not centered around individual nuggets of knowledge, but instead around the natural progression of the powerful cognitive tools humans have developed throughout human history. From story telling to calculus, these cognitive tools are super powers that enable learners to explore, create and express themselves in transformative ways. For example, computer programming is one such cognitive tool that we treat not as an individual subject, but instead a fluency to explore all subjects. From recreating Plato's Allegory of the Cave with code to creating art with algorithms, computer programming leads to a powerful process based understanding. Just as literacy transforms a learners mind so too does the cognitive tool of computer programming. With this new process based fluency, learners start to see the world around them as verbs instead of nouns, dynamic systems instead of isolate parts, relationships instead of objects. This powerful cognitive tool (along with many others) forms the bedrock for a new way of understanding for the learner.
       
      The Dexter curriculum covers all of the core areas of knowledge in traditional schools (history, mathematics, physics, writing, social studies, etc.) while also preparing learners with the skills and mental models needed to participate in the knowledge age. From communication skills, technical literacy, artificial intelligence, mathematical thinking, systems and design thinking, entrepreneurship and the like - our curriculum is designed to insure that learners have a seat at the table in the highly technical world of tomorrow. As members complete curriculum, they're building a growing portfolio of work that's easily exported as a transcript for re-enrollment in traditional schooling, college entrance or employment. Our primary metric for student growth is individual work, but we recognize the need for outside accountability metrics. All members will take the PSAT and/or SAT bi-annually. These test scores, in combination with an extensive portfolio, community involvement, certifications, work experience, exceptional writing skills and professional recommendations will help our members gain entrance to the world's best universities (if they so choose).
       
      Members progress through the curriculum by completing lesson cards associated with required core decks. As members complete decks, they level up to a different class (bronze, silver, gold, ruby, emerald and diamond). In addition to the core decks, each student has a persistent 'skills' deck that auto-populates with level appropriate curriculum to help them prepare for the benchmark PSAT/SAT exam.

    • Reimagined Learning Spaces

      Maker Space Meets Learning Space

    • Reimagined Learning Spaces

      The outside world has undergone rapid change, yet the K-12 learning environment has remained stagnant. At Dexter, our learning spaces are designed for the modern age, where learners have normal access to special equipment and experiences - a departure from traditional learning environments where learners have special access to normal experiences (raise your hand to use the bathroom). From video production to 3D printing, learners are embedded in a dynamic environment that enables them to become an active creator versus a passive consumer.
       
      Dexter campuses are informed by the work of Brett Victor (see Seeing Spaces) and a deep recognition that the underlying environment gives rise to the individual learners growth (or lack there of). By creating an environment that's biased towards intellectual exploration and community, a culture of high expectation and professionalism fills the space. The long term vision behind our spaces point towards a campus model, where multiple buildings are clustered together to provide pooled access to equipment, mentors and community. Dexter spaces blur the line between the distinction between the workplace and school, utilizing design principles from innovative technology companies like Google and Apple.

    • Our Vision for the Future

      A Global Network of High Tech Private Schools

    • Our Vision for the Future

      Our long term vision is to create a global network of high tech, affordable independent schools. This global network will connect the world's youth, provide access to the means of production and create a shared fluency among a generation of geniuses. The individual nodes in this network will be more like college campuses than isolated schools and will exist in a much more porous relationship with the local community. The global change that will result from this networked generation of geniuses might just lead to a new renaissance in human progress - we hope you and your children are a part of it.

    • FAQ

      How much does Dexter cost?
      Dexter membership for cohort 0 costs $300 per month or $3,600 per year. Tuition for subsequent cohorts will progressively increase. When comparing this with traditional or government schooling, it's important to annualize tuition costs. Most schools are only open for approximately 180 days per year. Dexter is open Monday - Saturday from 7am to 7pm year round.
       
      Do we have to sign a long term contract?
      No! We believe that we should always be hyper accountable to our families. No commitments or contracts keeps us thriving for perfection.
       
      How safe is the Dexter campus?
      Safety is our first and foremost responsibility to our families. Every square foot of our premises (except bathrooms) are monitored with 24/7 video and audio surveillance. All Dexter staff members undergo background checks, are CPR certified and have completed a training course to handle various emergency scenarios (fire, active shooter, etc.).
       
      What's the student to teacher ratio?
      Traditional schools proudly state their low student to teacher ratios as a sign of a positive learning environment. We think of it a bit more like police to citizen ratio - a healthy society actually prides itself on the need for a smaller police force. Our innovative learning spaces, combined with the lack of age segregation, formal lectures, mandatory attendance and self paced curriculum allow us to completely redefine the question of student to teacher ratio. For each 50 full-time members, we have at least one full-time staff member on premise.
       
      Is Dexter for everybody?
      Dexter is very different than a traditional learning environment and requires a certain level of individual responsibility and autonomy that many students have not developed through their traditional schooling. We select students for these traits through our interviewing process.
       
      Is Dexter accredited?
      The value of Dexter is not one of prestige, but tangible value to the life of the learner in the form of competencies, skills, certifications, work experience, portfolios and academic recognitions (PSAT, SAT, GRE scores). For these reasons, we've decided against private school accreditation, allowing us to continuously innovate and improve quality - while staying accountable to our members and families (not an outdated value extracting entity).

    • "My husband and I have been trying to find a program to challenge our son in his intelligence and push him to a higher level. We enrolled him in Dexter and it has been a Godsend!"

      - Elizabeth Q.

    • Request an Interview

      Visit Dexter HQ to see the education revolution firsthand!

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