Our schools seem stuck in an odd place. Our society has the fullest understanding of Life, the Universe, and Everything that any society has ever had. And we have the best understanding of learning!
But our practices of education are trapped in the past: mired in the educational wars of a century ago.
Our problem is even stranger than that. We have curriculum in abundance: our world spills over with compelling theories, intriguing mysteries, captivating discoveries, and profound art. We live amidst epic stories, and are confronted by pulse-quickening crises.
It seems as if it should be a cinch for our schools to regularly help form the greatest naturalists, philosophers, storytellers, mathematicians, musicians, chefs, theologians, poets, artists, and anthropologists that the world has seen.
It really seems, in short, that school should be experienced as a place that's interesting.
As the educational philosopher Kieran Egan has written:
We represent the world to children as mostly known and rather dull. The opposite is the case: we are surrounded by mystery, and what we know is fascinating.
It really seems like we ought to be able to do better — to make the best schools ever.
How might that be done?
This blog brings together ideas from some far-flung places —
- A host of competing visions for school: Montessori and Waldorf schools, classical homeschooling, radical unschooling, progressive schools, and (perhaps most of all) Imaginative Education.
- A plethora of extra-curricular learning: outdoor education, test-prep coaching, religious formation, and music lessons.
- A miscellany of intellectual perspectives: evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, the history of science and math, and oh so many other things!
We're looking at how we might re-invent every aspect of schooling —
- Subjects like history, science, math, philosophy, art, foreign language, physical education, music, engineering, and economics.
- All ages of education, from kindergarten to high school — and beyond.
- The physical design of classrooms, the preparation of teachers, and the basic goals of education.
- Our fundamental beliefs about what a child is, and how they learn.
Through all this, we're attempting to start schools that cultivate Renaissance men and women — students who are fascinated with all aspects of reality, who pursue mastery in diverse realms, and who build meaningful lives.