MicroSociety was pioneered by George H. Richmond, a graduate of Yale and eventually earning his Masters and Ph.D. at Harvard. His first job was as an educator in New York City. He struggled with students missing school, students hating homework and students disengaged or sleeping in class. From this frustration grew a vision "children taking charge of their won education, acquiring skills, confidence, and creativity they would need to become productive and responsible citizens in the adult world." Richmond and his wife, Carolyn King, launched the Consortium of MicroSociety Schools, with like-minded educators. Later MicroSociety Inc. was established and this model is now being used in elementary and middle schools around the world.
What is MicroSociety?
It is a mini-metropolis or mini-society, that is student-created and managed. The society consists of a central government, entrepreneurial hub (ventures), non-profits, a market place, university, and community gathering places. The society will allow students to understand all the ins and outs of participating in a community. They will begin the process by participating in lessons on citizenship and/or academies (Leadership, Law, Constitution, and Finance). Once the students have learned the basic skills, they will begin the process of writing resumes, applying for jobs, interviewing, and attending the university for training. Then students will begin to apply their knowledge and at times fail as they attempt to run their businesses, government agencies, and the community. With each attempt, students will work together to problem-solve, apply different strategies to find new solutions. Students will begin to see these real-world situations and making connections to their classroom learning.
Why use the MicroSociety Model?
Research has shown that is model increases the following skills:
Planning and organizing
Political empowerment or Voice