Educational Principles

Hollywood Arts structures its educational approach on the Smart Schools principles for good education, developed by David Perkins, Howard Gardner and colleagues
at Harvard’s Project Zero.

Our Guiding Beliefs

Learning is a consequence of thinking, and good thinking is learnable by all students.
Learning should include deep understanding, which involves the flexible, active use of knowledge.

There are seven key principles at Hollywood Arts.


Generative knowledge. Classes at Hollywood Arts are based on the disciplinary and interdisciplinary content that will most benefit our students.


Learnable intelligence. We do not believe that intelligence is a fixed quantity but rather that students can learn ways of thinking that will boost their performance. Teachers that champion such thinking can have a significant effect on students’ own views of their abilities.


Focus on understanding. In the Hollywood Arts’ model, we place an emphasis on student work that builds and demonstrates deep understanding of a subject in contrast to narrowly defined outcomes or goals.


Teaching for mastery and transfer. Teachers at Hollywood Arts motivate and help students to bridge what they learn to new contexts which enhances the likelihood that students will learn well and actively use what they learn.


Learning-centered assessment. Assessment functions as a reflective and evaluative tool for learning. Assessment works best when students take responsibility for the quality of their work and their learning.


Embracing complexity. Insightful thinking and deep understanding requires students to be able to deal with and thrive on complex situations and problems. Hollywood Arts creates learning situations that help students build skills and tolerance for complexity and begin to develop a sense of excitement in the face of intriguing and difficult problems.


Create a learning organization. All members of Hollywood Arts are involved in the processes of direction-setting and self-monitoring, creating a dynamic system that changes as the needs and the vision of Hollywood Arts changes.