Research-Based Girl-Centred Philosophy
The Linden School is the only school in Canada that was specifically created to incorporate cutting-edge research on girls' learning style and educational needs, particularly during adolescence and key development stages. Our speciality is applying feminist pedagogy through a social justice and interdisciplinary lens to inspire and engage girls. We supplement the Ministry of Education curriculum to ensure that teaching and course content respond to developmental patterns of girls. Research shows that learning improves when girls construct their own understanding of concepts through discussion and experience rather than by memorizing rules or definitions. Girls are more engaged in their studies when they are empowered to ask questions, debate with each other and their teachers, collaborate in groups, and analyze their course material with a critical lens. In June 2019, our co-founders received a Women of Distinction Award from the YWCA, honouring their contribution to the field of education through the opening of The Linden School, which has created "a formidable ripple effect in Toronto’s educational landscape."
Outstanding Teaching Specialists
Our Curriculum Leader and STEM teacher Beth Alexander, recipient of the prestigious 2017 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence and the 2019 Lowell Milken Centre Fellowship, designed our computer studies/design technology program and lab. More recently, Linden's Athletics Director Deidre Macpherson received the Prime Minister's 2020 Certificate of Achievement for Teaching Excellence in recognition of her innovative approach to inspiring and empowering the entire student body to embrace athletics without the fear of try-outs and cuts. Our high-calibre teaching specialists know how girls think, feel, and learn during each stage of their development through their junior, middle, and high school years. Their keen understanding of girls' psycho-social-physiological development, their learning styles, the role of power and relationships within the classroom, and the importance of equity and inclusivity within an educational setting are essential for girls to find and develop the sense of competence necessary for lifelong success.
Professional growth is a priority at Linden, and we encourage and support ongoing professional development for all faculty and staff. As specialists in girl-centred learning and feminist pedagogy, our teachers also frequently share their expertise in the media and at national and international educational conferences. In April 2017, The Linden School held Toronto's first-ever conference on Teaching for Justice. Co-conceived and developed by Beth Alexander, Linden teacher, and Michelle Munk, City View Alternative, TDSB teacher (who formerly taught at Linden), the event included a variety of offerings from academics and teachers. Now offered as a biennial event, the 2nd Teaching for Justice conference was recently held in October 2018.
Small Classes: Big Impact
Our inclusive learning environment and small classes allow teachers to get to know each girl and guide her academic, social, and emotional development. Girls are comfortable just being themselves in our welcoming space. New students feel at home right away, making friends from day one. Students try new things without the fear of failure. At Linden, they know that perfectionism is not the goal, and that they can learn just as much from a project’s journey as its outcome.
Inquiry and Project-Based Learning
Our students love to tackle real-world problems, which they find more meaningful because they inspire their creativity and intellectual curiosity. Classroom teaching includes group work, hands-on lab assignments, case studies, cooperative strategy games, and sharing personal experiences related to the curriculum. This not only helps girls develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills, but also enhances problem-solving and communication skills, which are essential to achieving success in a wide range of disciplines and careers.
The big questions students ask when analyzing their course material often become the foundation of classroom projects, scientific research, art, and drama productions. Student work is showcased at various community events throughout the year including our highly regarded STEM for a Better World: Linden’s Inquiry Fair, where students confidently present their projects and discuss their research process with event visitors. This is why Linden graduates have a competitive edge over their peers at university. Having studied, questioned, researched, and argued throughout their years at Linden, they are ready to take on the world as changemakers.
Critical Thinking with Social Justice
We know that critical thinking skills are essential to achieving success in a wide range of disciplines. Using social justice topics to spark student inquiry enriches and supplements our course material, allowing girls to acquire a deeper understanding of the curriculum. This is why Linden girls love asking thought-provoking questions. Whether studying a novel, a historical event, a business case, or a scientific discovery, they will ask, “Where is the girl or woman in this story?” and “Who is speaking and whose voices are we missing?”
Emphasis on Diversity & Equity
The Linden School actively promotes diversity within the workplace and the student body. The school's non-denominational program celebrates differences, and provides students with opportunities to learn about the history of beliefs, traditions, and celebrations of people all around the world.
It’s no secret that every Linden girl wants to change the world for the better. We nurture our future changemakers by encouraging leadership in social justice and community-building activities. Linden faculty and students actively initiate and organize community service projects on an ongoing basis.
100% University Acceptance
Grade 12 students meet with our Guidance and Learning Counsellor on a weekly basis to receive individual advice that helps ensure they maximize their post-secondary choices by carefully selecting universities and completing their applications. As a result, Linden graduates are able to choose from a range of universities, often with generous scholarships, and find themselves equipped with the skills they need to function effectively at university. Whether it's leading their school's debating club, excelling in athletics, performing in drama productions, or simply having the confidence to ask questions in a lecture hall of 500 people, Linden graduates use their strong voices to make their mark as post-secondary students. They go on to achieve success in a wide range of careers spanning the performing arts, global advocacy, business, science, technology, and engineering.