Director’s Welcome:

A healthier environment, a more compassionate culture, a more peaceful global community -- these possibilities rest in the hands of our youth.

My deep desire is to help children flourish, appreciate themselves, and contribute their gifts. The educators and parents I know share this desire, as well as concern for the stressors in our culture and the impact they are having on our young. We note in particular the following, challenging patterns in American public education and home life: 

  • Decades of swinging between:

    • Rigid models of teaching/parenting

    • Overly child-centric models

  • Uneven allocation of resources for schools; lack of access to basic resources for families

  • Overgeneralization--applying strategies that help some children to all

  • Over-emphasis on standardized testing

  • Growing numbers of young children on medication for focus and anxiety

  • Media over-exposure

  • Lack of parenting education

Many of us have invested hours searching for solutions to the above concerns with colleagues, in bookstores, on-line, or at workshops and conferences, but have been functioning without a complete and holistic framework that views children’s development in the context of their relationships with others and with their natural world.

In applying A Framework for Wise Education, I have found that the guiding principles and strategies contained within it as true for me today as they were when I started out in 2011. Though my team and I may be more adept at applying the work with children, adults, and in our own lives — the organizing structures are timeless. Having such solid ground to build from allows us to spend our valuable time and resources on developing shared understandings and systemic, root-cause solutions. We have used the framework in multiple ways:

  • A holistic checklist for covering essential learning at home/school

  • Individual and group assessment/progress evaluation

  • Organizing curriculum and teaching strategies

  • Delivering life skills training and character development

  • Becoming our best as adults

  • Becoming pro-active collaborators on behalf of our young

First and foremost, I find A Framework for Wise Education the most powerful means I know for developing individual potential and group potential -- including our own potential as educators. What we learn to give to ourselves, we can better impart to our children. 

I look forward to collaborating with you on applications of Ellen's work.

--Maureen Burford