Originally posted on Cooperative Catalyst:
All over the world children are starting school for the first time. Their eagerness and excitement is infectious. The joy of learning is in every ounce of their bodies and souls, and they will soon be joining a community of other children, as friends and playmates. They want to learn, play, and create. They know nothing of aims or outcomes, nothing of grades or learning tracks. They just want to run and jump, discovering and exploring what the world has to offer. They know nothing of the purpose of education, because learning is has been their life since birth.
All over the world children are starting school for the first time, at schools where their eagerness and excitement is essential and cherished, schools that see them as vital members of the learning community along with their teachers and families, schools where every member has a voice and participates in making the school democratic and authentic. These schools are designed with the children’s uniqueness and energy as their guides. They support and embrace the many holistic ways each child learns. These learners spend their day in independent and interdependent engagement and meaningful learning adventures, that emerge from their interests and questions and are guided by their growth and development. The flexible curriculum and environment are rich in experiences that support physical, social, emotional, spiritual and academic development.
All over the world, children are starting their first day at the thousands of learning communities, that are designed as if they matter. These learning communities look nothing like the schools of the past, where learning and life were separate and were only attended in one’s youth. Many learning communities are not schools at all, and are as diverse and unique as the people they serve. They provide a living and learning environment that helps to develop and cultivate personal growth, authentic relationships and a balance between personal, communal, and ecological well-being. These learning communities help to meet the complex and holistic needs of an inter-generational community for both their present and future life with happiness, empowerment, and passionate active inquiry.