Each child begins life with a thirst for knowledge. This innate curiosity is our greatest ally as teachers. Diminish that spirit by any means, and one will find oneself working against the child in the effort to educate them. By contrast, nurturing this tendency results in a self-motivated learner who seeks increasing opportunities to grow and express their capacity. A student like that knows no limits!
Undertaking that task begins with the belief that a school needs a guiding vision. Progressive School’s staff, students, and programs are united by, and draw perennial inspiration from Neohumanism, as put forth by P. R. Sarkar. Simply stated, if extending the sweetest touch of the heart to include all humanity as one’s own be termed Humanism, then expanding that embrace to include the animals, plants, and even the elements is termed Neohumanism. The fact that the fortunes of all are intimately wreathed together must be recognized, if not today, then surely tomorrow.
Here is just a sampling of ways we practice this ideal: instruction of a second language at an early age, incorporating the highest forms of artistic expression into all instruction, practice of Yoga at daily Quiet Time assembly, careful selection of great literature, ecological science curriculum, expanded social studies investigation, volunteerism and community service, standards of behavior for teachers and students, and a focus on creating the ethical values necessary to be a compassionate member of the world community.
Does it help to say that Neo-Humanist educational philosophy promotes Learning for All, Remembering and Putting into Practice, Life as a Mission, and Divergent Thinking? We thought not! But perhaps this will help to make it more real for you …
Q: Why will you find team teaching in small classes, a personalized curriculum, a balance of individual, large and small group instruction, and an abundance of hands-on materials at Progressive? A: Because these techniques keep learning fresh and accessible to everyone. (Learning for All)
Q: Why is there extensive use of drama, games, the arts, stories, projects, and service as vehicles for learning? A: Because these methods enable us to achieve our goal of long term applied knowledge. (Remembering and Putting into Practice)
Q: Why do we encourage the use of free time exploration, enrichments and electives? A: Because this is how each child finds a way to succeed and give back. (Life as a mission.)
Q: Why do we go way beyond textbooks and test preparation? A: Because we promote the development of multiple intelligences. (Divergent thinking)