“All children should learn in an atmosphere of joy with challenging opportunities for developing their curiosity, creativity, and funds of knowledge. I support the integra-ted curriculum approach of Peregrine School with both collaborative & individual learn-ing projects involving the visual and performing arts, sciences, mathematics, and literary arts in multiple languages. In order to understand how children learn, I havetraveled to a number of countries investigating the schools and approaches for the education of children. In Reggio Emilia, Italy, I was amazed at the learning experiences provided for young learners. I continue to support such an educational approach at Peregrine School." -Crystal Olson, Ed.D. Board Member
At Peregrine School, we believe that the 21st Century requires a re-thinking of the education of children. Dr. Olson’s comments above summarize what we are about at Peregrine School: the creation of a school where joy and challenges go hand in hand, and where creativity, curiosity, and knowledge can grow together. Our school was started in response to educational trends which have narrowed the scope of education, rather than broadening it, just at a time when the demands on our children and our future are increasingly complex. In Reggio Emilia, Italy, both Lorie and Crystal saw a model of education which reached for the heights of human possibility with even the youngest child. It made us want to see the same thing happen here.
Education is not child’s play. In modern times, education is the primary mechanism through which civilized cultures reproduce themselves. To care about education is to care about the future not only of childhood, but also of society. The values transmitted in schools will become the values of the next generation.
What values do we want to transmit to our children? Today’s children will live in a time when less than one tenth of the careers that they will embrace now exists, and when most people will have several different careers in their lifetimes. To adjust to this level of change, we know that they need to be flexible problem solvers. This is why inquiry, in the form of project based learning, is so important. Students need to do more than learn facts to be prepared for twenty first century life. Of course they still need basic skills, which enable them to read, compute, and communicate. But above all they need to analyze and synthesize what they read or see, and to make a creative response. And they need to live and work with others different than themselves in an increasingly diverse, internationalized, and crowded world.
Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind and Howard Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future do a good job of explaining the need for 21st century skills. Our job at Peregrine School is to help children to be perpetual learners, who carry a sense of agency and the confidence to embrace our complex world with joy and compassion.
For a better understanding of the pedagogy behind Peregrine School, please see our Recommended Reading.