As this school year draws to a close and I reflect on the incredible diversity of schools that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in the past year, I’m realizing that what I want next is a deeper exploration of a few schools that have really stoked the fire of my curiosity. This year has been a very broad but shallow overview, and has really helped me to refine some of my questions. Next year I will be working in at least two schools with radically different philosophies and environments, trying to clarify some of my understandings.
I’ve been thinking about the following polarities between two of the schools I hope to study more intensively:
Liberty-Based Democratic School ----- Waldorf-inspired Nature-Based School
Liberty, Agency -------- Routines, Rituals
Bottom-up: Student initiated ------------ Top-down: Teacher/Pedagogy
Freedom to focus solely on interests ------ Broad curriculum, many skills taught
Child & adult are equal -------------- Teacher is trusted authority
Freedom to stay inside, unlimited screen time ------- Outdoor learning daily, no screens
Of course, these polarities vastly oversimplify these learning environments. However, I do think that it helps me to frame my questions as along a continuum.
Any thoughts, friends? The more you know, the more you don't know.... It's so true.