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The MKA Core Experience

Turning shared learning experiences into a deep, multifaceted understanding of the world and what it means to be human

The MKA Core engages students in shared learning experiences of serious intellectual purpose. These require students to grapple with ideas that enhance their understanding of the world and some of humanity’s essential foundations and goals.

In the Humanities

The MKA Core in the humanities guarantees that all MKA students explore seminal works and concepts of enduring significance, including the contributions of diverse authors, artists, political leaders, and inventors. From Pre-K to grade 12, students encounter some of “the best that has been thought and said in the world” (Matthew Arnold), not to mention some of the best that has been created. This builds a shared foundation for discussion of important and lasting ideas—a reference point for learning throughout the years.

Tackling such a variety of works and concepts helps students understand humankind’s essential assumptions and aspirations while challenging students to expand their knowledge, develop their vision, and lead an informed life of integrity.

Using criteria initially adapted from the National Endowment for the Humanities and modified for MKA’s Pre-K–12 environment, faculty selected some of the greatest works of and contributors to Western and non-Western cultures, resulting in core works as diverse as Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus, Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf  in grade 4 and Homer’s "Odyssey", Langston Hughes’s "Theme from English B and Harlem," and Alvin Ailey’s Revelations in grade 8. Shakespeare and Sophocles are featured, as are Aesop, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Martin Luther King. Students study French Impressionism, Don Quixote, Confucius, or the legendary heroes of ancient Rome in world language classes.


Click here to see the MKA Core for the humanities by campus.

Every five years, a group of faculty members reviews the humanities core to ensure that the works studied remain relevant to the curriculum.

In Science and Math


The Core of science and math study at MKA is the approach: developing understanding through hands-on learning, exploration, and problem-solving.

Faculty members nurture curiosity as they teach students to think like scientists and mathematicians. As a result, students come to appreciate complex problems and develop the inspiration and capacity to solve them.