A Publication of Springhurst - The Whole Child School
Volume I - - - - - - - Issue 1 - - - - - - - - Autumn 1996

continued from page 1

of the puzzle can be organized by six elements: Demographics, Environment, Patterns of Action, Perceptions of Reality, Systemic Relationships, and Time.

We believe that to provide an equal education for all students, we must not try to make them all equal but provide each individual with an equal opportunity to rise to their own ability. There is no 'ceiling' on learning at Springhurst.

In A Study of Reality, Brady writes, "The purpose of education is to expand understanding of human experience. We experience holistically, seamlessly, every part of it relating in some way to every other part.

"Sadly, because the traditional curriculum 'tears reality apart' into disciplines, courses, and subjects, it fails us and our students in the most fundamental sense possible. We accept the present curriculum because it's all we know. We teach the content of that curriculum unquestioningly because we consider it important, but we consider it important primarily because it's what we were taught." Mr. Brady has developed a holistic curriculum for adolescents and adults. He will be collaborating with Seth! to continue to develop a curriculum for younger learners.

The Springhurst Foundation

recently, The Springhurst Foundation was formed to collect and allocate contributions to Springhurst. Having a separate foundation will keep contribution funds apart from the operating funds and contributors will have the opportunity to decide how their contributions will be spent. The Springhurst Foundation will provide a quarterly statement to the Springhurst Board of Directors and Advisors. For a limited time, anyone who makes a donation to Springhurst will receive a free globe keychain. Wow!

What Does It All Mean?

why design a new curriculum and start a school? Ultimately, the answer is, to bring about systemic change. It is often said that today's students are tomorrow's leaders. They are also tomorrow's followers and how they approach the future is largely determined by us today. How often do we hear about a call to action to 'reform education', 'save the environment', 'take back the night'? If there is such consensus that much of our way of life is misguided, then why is it allowed to perpetuate? It seems that the basis of today's dominant ideology is 'Making the world a better place for our children' even though the world was in perfect working order when humanity got here. Nonetheless, we follow this self-inflicted mandate generation after generation. The damage ranges from our individual and collective psyches to the fragile biosphere of which we are a part.

Under the guise of change and reform, the same old laws, curricula, and systems are reintroduced in new packaging. In Goals 2000 legislation, the United States Congress confirmed that students are to "be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our Nation's modern economy." This does not sound like change, leadership, or even stewardship. Why? Because while on the one hand we want change, on the other hand we are setting our watches from our parents' clocks. In so doing we are leading ourselves down a dangerous path. Can we turn back? Can humankind change course midstream? Thomas Kuhn writes that scientific paradigms are changed only through scientific revolutions. What will it take to change our way of thinking, our way of learning, our way of life? Our best hope is truly innovative education.

However, the present curricula are framed within the dominant ideology. This is an unlikely way to find solutions. As Marion Brady is fond of saying, a fish is the last one to discover water. And as bad as the contemporary general curriculum is for most students, it's even worse for the gifted. The expectations are too low, the disciplines too distinctly isolated, and there aren't any mechanisms in place for change. To us this does not seem like a good way to educate. The goal of Springhurst is twofold; start a school for gifted learners, and devise a new general curriculum _ a curriculum that challenges students to find new perspectives for old problems, new ideas, and future generations.

This Newsletter and Springhurst Online

This issue of SPRINGHURST QUARTERLY is the first one and is being produced both online and as a printed piece. The newsletter will be coming out quaterly and can be found at our web site. If you didn't get here via our web site, please visit it at http://www.springhurst.org . If you would like to receive a copy of this and future issues in your snail-mail box, please contact us at spring@springhurst.org .


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