At Walden, Wisdom Comes From Wonder

Curiosity Starts Here

In our Pre-K to 6th grade classrooms, learning is grounded in inquiry, experience, and collaboration. Our progressive program balances academics with social-emotional skills, cultivating creative and critical thinkers who use their voice as compassionate change makers in our diverse world.

Encouraging child-led inquiry

At Walden, children have a voice and a choice. We believe in child-led inquiry as a tool that encourages students to take ownership for their own learning. Big open-ended question that have many possible answers act as a catalyst to get students thinking more deeply about a subject. Applying what they already know, students choose their own questions to research. Their curiosity and motivation lie at the heart of the educational experience, while teachers help and guide them along. 

Teaching that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live

We take learning beyond the classroom by connecting with the natural world and communities around us. This place-based approach to learning has a keen focus on student engagement, learning outcomes, and community impact. Through authentic, meaningful outdoor education and service learning experiences, students understand the needs and resources of their environment and learn to take action for the good of the planet and all the living things in it.

Nurturing a child's natural wonder

From a young age, children are driven to explore the world around them and figure things out. When this natural curiosity is encouraged, their mind is actively engaged, making observations, analyzing options, finding connections—in other words, learning. That's why we believe nurturing children's wonder is one of the most important ways to help them become lifelong learners.

Encouraging the spirit of Renaissance learning

Weekly specialty classes in art, dance, library, music, P.E., science & technology, Spanish, and storytelling are an integral part of the Walden experience. Taught by our expert specialty faculty, these classes help students discover their passions and broaden their learning. 

Teaching to value and respect diversity

Founded on the principles of social justice and inclusion, Walden values, respects, and supports all the ways in which people may differ. We encourage our students to bring their own identities, experiences, backgrounds, talents, abilities, and interests to school each day. Through curricular activities, service learning, classroom morning meetings, student mentors, and mixed-age classes, we promote equity, empathy, compassion, and dialogue. 

Learning through Socratic discussion

Socratic discussion is a forum for open-ended inquiry and gaining deeper understanding of a topic. Students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and responses.

@lifeatWalden

Voices of Walden

Walden is a community built on understanding, respect for others, and a shared love of learning. Like the larger Pasadena community, we embody a diverse range of backgrounds, interests, beliefs, and family structures. We thrive on the unique ideas and perspectives each person brings to the school. These are some of our stories.

Sydni Myrick-Causey

Sydni Myrick-Causey

4/5 Lead Teacher

As educators, we have a profound opportunity to impact society positively through the children that come through our classrooms. When planning lessons and activities, I’m thinking about what I want my students to bring and also what I want them to take away from it. Are they going to feel better about themselves and their abilities? Are they going to have a better sense of what they can do? Are they going to work better in pairs or independently?

Ben Boquist

Ben Boquist

Art Specialist

The real value of art education at the elementary level is that it teaches creative problem solving and promotes patterns of creative behavior. Every day, I am inspired by the concepts kids bring to class. I love seeing students push through a challenging project and emerge on the other side. Walden students are bold, curious, and ambitious.

Pastron Family

Pastron Family

Current and Alumni Family

Our four children, three Walden graduates and a current student, are each different learners with individual interests and their own educational strengths and weaknesses. In each of them, Walden instilled a sense of confidence in their own voices and ideas. This allowed them to not only be successful in the challenging academic environments they moved on to, but to stand out and remain themselves.

Makala Thomas

Makala Thomas

Walden Alumna

I graduated from Walden with the class of 2012 Golden Frogs. After attending Westridge for middle and high school, I am now at Florida State University, where I have the unique opportunity of playing soccer, the sport that I love, as well as pursuing my dreams in media production and editing. Both of these passions were born during my time at Walden. Couldn’t be more thankful for the memories, lessons, and friendships that I built at Walden.

Nathalie Griffith

Nathalie Griffiths

K/1 Associate Teacher

I value the social emotional learning we do at Walden with our children. It's very important to me as a teacher, and I appreciate how it’s woven into the fabric of our day. It helps our community practice empathy, compassion, and understanding for one another. Checking in with each other is one of the many ways I enjoy connecting with our students.