Helping Students Thrive
 Applying Ellen Tadd’s
Framework for Wise Education™

Taught by Creative Lives Director
Maureen Burford, M.Ed.

Creative Lives invites educators to train-in and implement Ellen Tadd’s Framework for Wise Education™ -- a holistic system for teaching children that addresses cognitive and character development, physical health, and inner wellbeing. Participants will be able to receive graduate credit for their work. 

In 25 years of continuing education, I have never been so moved. Great things will happen with this model of education!
— Pieter Bohen, CEO Emeritus, Farm and Wilderness Camps

The course is scheduled as follows:

Tuesday Evening Class — Invitation Only
Upper Valley, Vermont and beyond
Practitioners invited to this class have an expressed interested in joining Creative Lives as long-term collaborators, mentors, coaches, and eventual trainers in our approach.
January 7 - February 4 and February 25 - March 31, 2020
Time: 7:15 to 8:15 pm on-line training sessions; on-going, self-paced individual learning units.
Final Presentations: Saturday April 4, 10 a.m. to 4 pm

February Classes:
Week 1 Option - Burlington area:

February 10-14, 10-4:30 pm (lunch 12:30-1:30
Week 2 Option - Hartford area:
February 17-21, 10-4:30 pm (lunch 12:30-1:30)

April Classes
Week 1 Option - Brattleboro area:
April 13-17, 10-4:30 pm
Week 2 Option - Bennington Area:
Class D. April 20-24, 10-4:30 pm

Summer Courses:
Hartford area:

Week 1 — July 10-14
Week 2 — July 17-21

About the Course
For the past six years, Creative Lives has implemented an approach to education and child development based on Ellen Tadd’s Framework for Wise Education.™ This structure is centered on Tadd’s unique understanding of the human energy system, often referred to as the chakra system, and its role in human development. A Framework for Wise Education applies to all children, in all situations.

"In my experience the chakra system has served as a clear and cogent means to organize individual and interpersonal complexity into categories, thereby making the process of understanding people, their behavior, and their interrelationships much quicker and easier."
--Ellen Tadd

Tadd’s framework is very practical and effective for helping teachers achieve desired results:

"Every child in our school should be learning these skills."
--Wendy Thompson, Elementary Educator

"I have never encountered a more powerful or meaningful framework for approaching education."
--Sharon Webster, Elementary Educator

Course Description:
Educators face unprecedented challenges in helping children develop and prosper at school. In this course, we will examine universal principles and strategies that support every child, in every situation.  As we begin with what is collectively helpful for every student, it becomes an easier process to tailor curriculum to meet the needs of an individual child. For example, we could agree that an inspired child is more open and enthusiastic to learn. However, what inspires an individual child may be quite unique.

Tadd’s Framework organizes character development and individual/classroom learning into seven universal interconnected categories. These Framework categories will constitute the outline of the course. Below is a brief explanation of the seven topics we will address. The course will include practical skills, tools and strategies for implementation:

  • Inspiration (including enthusiasm for learning, inner happiness, spontaneity, and connection)

  • Wisdom (discovering the mechanics of focus, concentration, and good decision-making)

  • Confidence (cultivating self-esteem and the curiosity to learn and express)

  • Caring (what it really means to want the best for self and others – as well as finding the courage, forgiveness, and personal skills needed to put this into practice)

  • Emotional equilibrium (the role focus plays in mitigating emotional volatility, trauma, repression, sustaining positive emotions, and accepting everyone is learning)

  • Relationships (cultivating both receptive and directive abilities, which support creative expression, collaboration, and personal influence)

  • Discipline (resilience and responsibility rooted in building skills and habits across an array of areas including cognitive development, inner wellbeing and physical health; time, energy and resource management; attention to order and details)

We will focus first on applying the material learned to our own wellbeing and then to the students and schools we serve.

Course Requirements
Participants will:

  • Complete self-assessments and develop priorities for personal development

  • Actively practice Framework tools and strategies for each category (as they apply to teaching and learning)

  • Complete a case study

  • Complete required course reading

  • Implement specific, age-appropriate classroom applications for their students, and report back outcomes

  • Maintain an on-line journal

  • Offer feedback about the draft training manual

Expected Outcomes
Participants will:

  • Be equipped to support student strengths in each category

  • Develop a plan for personal development

  • Be equipped to assess students for dominance or diminishment in each category

  • Understand various root causes of weaknesses and challenges for students, as well as specific steps/practices for addressing these

  • Deepen or improve their capacity to help all students learn, through a systematic approach to:

    • Mitigating problems with focus and concentration

    • Mitigating the impact of trauma and other stresses

    • Cognitive and Character development

    • Physical health

    • Social-emotional learning

    • Building student self-awareness and capacity to self-regulate

    • Cultivating life-long learners

Additionally, participants will learn to use the Framework as an approach for developing well-rounded curriculum and lesson plans, individualized learning opportunities for students, weekly classroom schedules, supportive learning environments, and as a guide for integrating effective, existing practices from the field of education into a more complete, holistic approach.
Participants may elect to become certified practitioners of a Framework for Wise Education by completing field-work that offers evidence of their understanding and successful application of A Framework for Wise Education for themselves and their students. The certification fee is $200 and includes review of all submitted materials, feedback on progress, and recommendations for ongoing practice.
To Register:
Click the link below to complete a brief application. Applicants will be asked to identify their current teaching position, and to briefly outline their interest in this approach. 

Program Fees: $725
Certification Fee (if desired): $200
Graduate Credit Fee (approximately $600)

Graduate Credit Fees: This course is offered for three graduate credits through our educational partners for an additional charge. Please email us at: for more information about graduate credit fees.

The course is open to interested principals, school counselors, and classroom teachers, out-of-school directors, early childhood directors, and social workers engaged with children and families.

More about our Experience with Educators:

Since 2011, Creative Lives has been developing applications of A Framework for Wise Education for educators, offering successful pilot trainings and workshops regionally, including:

  • Discovering A Framework for Wise Education

  • Addressing Root Causes of ADD/ADHD

  • New Frontiers in Classroom Teaching

  • Insight Out: contemplative education for classrooms and homes

Join our mailing list to stay informed about our upcoming opportunities to study A Framework for Wise Education.

“I hope this catches on like wildfire. It would be just so great! It is fabulous working with you and I wanted to compliment you on your great facilitation. It is not easy introducing new topics in a public school setting and you are so natural with it. Truly inspiring!” k-5 Ecology Teacher
— K-5 Science Teacher
“Maureen is an inspiration and a guide.”
— C. Holton-Jablonski, educator and parent