The sixth grade Center for Economicology located at City Middle/High began in 2008 as a vision shared by the Wege Foundation and The Grand Rapids Public Schools. The term, Economicology, is a combination of the words "economy" and "ecology". Coined by Peter Wege, it can be described as reasoned, respectful, engaged stewardship of the Earth household in service of both people and the planet. This Grand Rapids Public School services 60 highly motivated students every year from GRPS and surrounding Kent County school districts.
Mission and Vision
At the Center for Economicology we seek to increase ecocultural sustainability throughout all aspects of our lives.
Our interdisciplinary curriculum engages students by encouraging wonder, creativity, cooperation, collaboration, and compassion while promoting and maintaining high academic and social expectations.
We are dedicated to helping students identify gaps between their stated values and their daily action by encouraging critical questioning, learning from mistakes, integrating reason and emotion, and reflecting on how our daily life decisions have ripple effects throughout their community and the world.
We believe that in order to create a more balanced, sustainable world where all being may flourish, learning communities must be created where individuals celebrate diversity, question, learn, and grow into open-minded, integrated, vital life learners.
"If civilization is to survive,..... we must understand the inter-dependency of the human race and the life-support system we call Earth....The key to our survival as a species is to start now by teaching our young what they must be taught to save the world. We must relearn how to live together with spirituality, love, and compassion so that we can pass these values on to our children. We must restore the human spirit."
-Peter M. Wege, 2006
The Center for Economicology combines the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program with a focus on sustainability through environmental and place-based education. For more info on the IB model please visit the following link: (http://www.grps.org/city-ib-myp).
There are six guiding principles that drive the philosophy behind our program. These "Six E's" are Ecology, Economics, Empathy, Environment, Ethics and
Education. Integration of the Six E's is found within all state and federally required subject areas and are taught through project based, hands-on learning both in and out of the classroom.
Our campus is thought of as a living, learning laboratory that includes the surrounding community. Students engage in systems thinking from day one of the program and quickly understand their role in our Earth's systems.
Rich in literature, the program is designed to teach ethics and empathy through an environmental literature seminar, monthly novel studies, and Homer's Odyssey.
With such a strong emphasis on environmental stewardship and sustainability, it is essential for our students to embark on outdoor learning experiences. Trips and field experiences fully connect the curriculum to communities.
Bi-weekly, the class walks to a local wetland preserve where students take charge of scientific investigations including soil and water sampling, geo-caching, invader species analysis, animal tracking and much more. Data is collected and conclusions are formed in order to construct final sustainability plans for the park. The use of various types of field study equipment is critical to project-based learning and excites students about possible sustainable career choices.
Technology integration is crucial to our sixth grade program. Students develop a total of four research based Power Point presentations throughout the academic year. The culminating project is a "Green City Design", in which each child constructs a completely eco-friendly city from the ground up, all based on current products and ideas.
Sixth graders graduate from this program as stewards of the Earth. Economicology is put into practice through rich cultural experiences that children guard with them for life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please click on the FAQ button on our home page to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our school and curriculum. If you have a question that you would like answered and you do not see it listed, please contact us. We will do our best to answer your questions, and might post your question on the website if it is one other parents might ask. We would like this website to be helpful and informative for all prospective parents and to the community in general.