The Ross Spiral Curriculum was conceived with a conception of world cultural history as a Complex Dynamical System. This approach is integral to the Ross curriculum, allowing students to understand and express increasingly complex concepts as they progress through the grades, advancing their understanding of complex global issues by studying systems. This higher-level understanding of the world we live in is a requirement for addressing the problems of the 21st century.
Ross Institute developed a program with Ralph Abraham to bring the underlying systems concepts of the curriculum into focus in the classroom from K–12. In 2011, Ross School faculty began a workshop on Complex Dynamical Systems taught by Ralph Abraham. Teachers were tasked with bringing their knowledge of systems theory into grade level curricula, selecting exemplary units and created relevant systems models which are now being utilized in classroom lessons as part of a larger effort that blends a systems approach with educational best practices.
Innovation Lab @Ross is an academy for advanced high school students who are passionate about science, mathematics, engineering, media, and technology. This stimulating and rigorous program allows students to engage in independent research and self-directed learning as they develop skills in electronics, computer programming, data visualization, and digital media. Students acquire valuable expertise in an engaging, hands-on environment designed to foster their curiosity, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit. A variety of lab and workshop spaces allow students to apply their skills in a real-world context, and partnerships with outside institutions help students to forge relationships with professionals in the field. Students in the program also engage fully in the interdisciplinary Ross School Core Curriculum. This multifaceted pedagogical approach teaches them to examine an issue from an integrated perspective, synthesize knowledge from disparate fields, and devise their own innovative solutions to global and local problems.
Boarding students reside in luxurious family-style houses with faculty house parents. They follow the same daily program of study as day students, with the added dimension of intercultural interactions and dialogues to enhance the Ross experience. The house parents are accessible to parents and work closely with both the Director of Student Life and teachers to ensure students are doing well. Ross boarding students have a strong support network on which to rely, including house parents, faculty, ESOL teachers and the Director of Residential Life. Living in a boarding house with students from all over the world is an exciting and educational experience.