What would a week at Defamer HQ be without a Scientology scandal? To wit: What do you get when you cross closet case Will Smith and an old high school in Calabasas? Try the New Village Academy, which the star reportedly underwrote this week with an $890,000, three-year lease of the former Indian Hills High School and a curriculum comprising a little bit of everything — Montessori here, constructivism there, and a liberal dollop of something called "study technology" developed by none other than education pioneer "L.R. Hubbard."
We don't know what the hell it is, either, but we'll all learn together after the jump.
[S]tudy technology focuses on three principles. First is the use of "mass" (manipulatives and hands-on experiences) to foster understanding - children need to see and feel what they are learning about. Second is the attention to the "gradient," which ensures sure students master one level before moving on to the next. Third is the "misunderstood word," in which students master word definitions and are taught not to read past words they don't know the meanings of in order to understand completely what they are reading and learning. NVA uses study technology as an umbrella methodology woven through the subjects.
We presume that "umbrella methodology" is a euphemism for at least six of its faculty and staff having achieved various degrees of Scientology study — and would you expect anything less for your $12,500 per year? And does this mean Jaden and Willow won't be home-schooled any longer? Do they get free rides for their Dad's philanthropy? Would any teacher ever give them less than an A? Do they even get letter grades? Or just OT levels? Just how "open" is open house, anyway? So many questions!