What’s a Microschool? - Learning Lab

What’s a Microschool?

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Six students sitting at desks in a circle.

As the saying goes, everything old becomes new again. One of the latest cultural shifts in education is a return to microschools. Today’s microschools, however, bear little resemblance to the early one-room schoolhouses found in rural areas many years back. Rather, today’s microschools offer sophisticated, niche, individually-tailored learning for students at all levels.

What Is a Microschool?

Microschools are characterized by small groups of students who thrive in non-traditional and flexible formats. Some microschools may emphasize one-on-one instruction; others may teach via a Socratic method of learning (learning through questioning); others may focus on project-based education; and some microschools may be designed to fit a group of students who all share similar learning differences or challenges.

In short, microschools can look quite different from one location to the next. They all share one thing in common though: excellent learning opportunities for students. 

After a year of COVID-related lockdowns and erratic school formats and schedules, it’s no surprise that microschools are seeing a surge in popularity. Many families are realizing that students can get a better and more efficient education in the “micro” environment. Microschools can also help students catch up on subject areas that may have been missed this past year.

Benefits of Learning in a Microschool

Microschools offer students a number of benefits.

  • Highly Responsive. Outside the purview of the public school system, microschools are flexible and can quickly adapt to best serve their students’ needs. Students can benefit from the positive directional changes.
  • Niche. Many microschools are focused on niche learning. This can be a great benefit both for students who are proficient in a certain topic and would like more advanced education, as well as students who are deficient in a topic and need more teacher attention.
  • Relationship-building. A smaller learning environment can help students develop stronger bonds and social skills.
  • Independence. Students in some microschools may be trusted to take initiative and drive their own learning. For those students who thrive in self-directed learning, this environment can be a great opportunity to build a student’s sense of agency and ownership.
  • Creative problem-solving. Many microschools encourage students to use creative thinking and problem-solving as a part of the learning process. These skills can serve students well throughout their entire lives.

Experience Microschooling With Gateway Academy: Currently Accepting Applications!

Gateway Academy is an accredited private school that will provide your student with a learning environment specifically geared to meet their individual needs: most classrooms here are classrooms of one student and in some cases small groups of up to five students. 

If Gateway Academy and the concept of microschooling sounds like a good fit for your student’s needs, please contact one of our two locations, or fill out the form below!

Gateway Academy Brentwood

5500 Maryland Way, Suite 110

Brentwood, TN 37027


Gateway Academy Nashville

2416 21st Avenue South, Suite 100

Nashville, TN 37212