Our philososphy of learning begins with three key ideas:
- We are individuals
Each of us is born one of a kind, with unique gifts and special needs, and each of us follows our own path through life. These differences make us interesting to each other and enable us to bring our unique points of view to relationships we have with others.
- We exist in relationship to others and the physical world
We have a natural desire to interact with each other as we each interact with our world. All learning results from these interactions.
- Our individuality and our inter-relatedness can be synergistic
When we are free to express ourselves and are skilled at communicating our differing and potentially conflicting points of view, we can put our gifts together and complete projects with others that we would be unable to complete as independent individuals.
These three key ideas give rise to the following additional ideas:
- We view learning as a natural activity.
Our educational philosophy begins with the belief that all people have a natural desire to learn and grow, and that all aspects of life are a part of a person’s education.
- We emphasize our connection to nature.
We see human beings as parts of, and dependent on, a web of life that we are capable of enriching or destroying. To help us develop a reverence for the natural world that will help us build towards a sustainable culture, we spend as much time observing and interacting with nature as we can.
- We see each of us as gifted and unique.
Our goal is helping all learners develop their unique strengths and overcome their unique challenges on their way to self actualization and personal liberation.
- We build relationship-based learning communities.
We believe that the best way to learn is through participation in communities of diverse individuals connected by deep relationships; learning with and from each other. We invite our wider communities to join us and we spend much of our time learning out in these communities.
- We are powered by diversity.
We believe that the wisest communities are powered by diversity. We are fortunate to include families diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, ability, religion and sexual orientation.
- We practice compassionate communication.
Our differences are resources. We practice listening to each other and honoring each other’s voices. We speak to express ourselves and listen to learn from each other.
- We provide a cooperative learning environment.
We use cooperation, not competition as a model. Intimidation and authoritarian means of implementing learning programs are not part of the agenda so learners have the freedom to be who they are without interference or judgment.
- We support interest-based learning.
Learners are encouraged to pursue their zeal, in a relaxed setting of encouragement and with a variety of resources.
- We use a responsive project-based curriculum.
We learn science, math, technology, social science and communication arts (i.e., languages, music and other art forms) as well as other social, emotional and practical skills as we engage in projects that come from our hearts.