At Peregrine School, we believe that the 21st Century requires a re-thinking of the education of children: 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. 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 critical and creative response. And they need to learn to work with others different than themselves in an increasingly diverse, internationalized, and crowded world.
Our job at Peregrine School is to help children to become perpetual learners, who have developed the capacity to learn, the creativity to face our complex world with joy, and the compassion to embrace an increasingly international, multicultural world with humanity. We hire teachers who share these goals and are themselves lifelong learners and world citizens striving to meet them.
The program we have developed to meet that challenge can be summed up in the acronym SOAR, which stands for SCIENCE, OUTDOOR EDUCATION, ARTS, and RESPONSIBILITY. Each of these is developed in the sections which follow.