At the Forest School, all learning flows from Nature that has brought us forth and made us curious to understand. Nature plants seeds of wonder in us, and we follow her where she leads. How does this perspective guide the teachers at the Forest School?
First, it means that there is a freedom and openness to learning. Nature is teaching us always and everywhere. With Nature as the primary educator, we adults know that our first task is to be grounded, to connect our minds and bodies in real, healthy places, in real communities that we take responsibility for, with open hearts and curious souls attuned to the cycles of time and season so that we can prepare our young to be ready for a lifetime of dedication and stewardship – responsible care and action on behalf of the great gifts of Nature – life and love and friendship in healthy hearts and homes and neighborhoods.
Second, it means that the adult’s role in education is a shepherding of time, the development and awakening of Nature in our young and of our young to Nature. We must love and be well-fed by Nature in order to have a sense of the terrain that lies ahead of them, so we can know better the twists and turns along the way, although we trust that Nature has in store for them discoveries and challenges that we can never foresee. Third, it means that we honor our various ages and how we learn differently at different times. For the young, much learning is invisible, coming through free-play and by imitation of and adaptation to one another through mixed-age settings. It means that they move from curiosity to understanding and into greater curiosity spurred on by each other, for young people learn from one another and not just from adults. We guide and direct their spirited freedom by using Nature’s handiwork and being outdoors to aid their self-discovery. To do so, we follow Nature’s guidance in moving the young from outer to inner as the young learn in their bodies and senses by experiencing the natural world around them.
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy The Forest School of Lawrence admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at our program. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.