Walden is a progressive school. The word “progressive” can have different meanings to different people. Through studies in the traditional academic disciplines, Walden students develop skills not to sustain society, but to better society and to mark progress. Hence, the word: progressive. It is a goal of the faculty of Walden not to simply have our students merge with society at large, but to develop skills and a disposition to actually improve the world in which we live.
In our progressive school, we offer a developmentally appropriate education. For example, a Walden 1st grade class does not pretend to be an accelerated 2nd grade class. Through experiential activities and child led inquiry, Walden students are met at their appropriate developmental level. Walden teachers are concerned with the whole child. By whole child we refer to the social, emotional, and academic growth of a child. Furthermore, the faculty is concerned with the interests, talents, and skills of each child.
Deep understandings are key attributes in our progressive school. While knowing basic facts is important, more important at Walden is the ability to make connections and distinctions among these facts, place them in context, to think critically and skeptically, and to consider multiple perspectives. Facts and skills are learned yet they are not learned in isolation. They are learned in a context.
Finally, in our progressive school, students naturally think in the plural. Lessons are designed to ask students to collaborate, to work together, and to utilize the skills of themselves and others. Because this starts at a very young age at Walden, students naturally ask “How are we doing?” “What are we learning?” and “What do we work on next?” This is different than a more competitive school where the child learns of his test score, completes her homework, does his assignment. In our world today, thinking in the plural only makes sense as opposed to thinking in isolation.
Developmentally appropriate; deep understandings; thinking in the plural; all hallmarks of a progressive education at Walden School.