The Walden Experience

Leaning into Learning

Welcome to the Walden Experience, an online journal curated and created by Walden's Curriculum Director Kelli Dawn Holsopple that explores learning at Walden. At Walden, both students and teachers are engaged in wonder about what it means to be a community of learners and how best we can support and challenge ourselves and each other. The Walden Experience is to celebrate this practice.

First Edition

John Dewey, the renowned progressive educator of early twentieth century wrote, “The child's own instincts and powers furnish the material and give the starting point for all education.” Following an era when Western education was guided by the idea that children are incomplete humans who need to be rushed along to adulthood, Dewey’s statement was a radical idea. Progressive education begins with this powerful proposition: that children are full human beings at unique stages of development with ways of connecting with the world that can guide our pedagogical practices. This is what “developmentally appropriate” means in the Walden mission statement.

Go with us on a journey into our classrooms to explore this vision of honoring childhood. Learn how it manifests in a technique to awaken story ideas and in the ways we support the strength and skills necessary for handwriting. Hear one of our 4th/5th grade teachers tell stories of true child-led inquiry, nurtured by a strong pedagogical practice of community discussions, and from our science/outdoor education specialist about what inspires her as an educator.

Joyful Writers: The techniques of Story Workshop in Middle Core


Child-Led Inquiry: How robust classroom discussions can lead to learning journeys in 4th/5th grade

Handwriting: A process of strength, fine motor skills, and focus that grows the brain


Science: Solving problems and following questions