"The purpose of Community School is to provide education of the highest quality for children of all racial, cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds based on a child-centered philosophy that is committed to teaching children in the ways they learn best.
The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge, but to create possibilities for a child to invent and discover. When we teach too fast, we keep the child from inventing and discovering for himself. Teaching means creating situations where structure can be discovered. --Jean Piaget: To Invent Is To Know
Community School's overriding goal for all students is to have learning be something desirable; students should be able to ask questions freely and often. Students should be able to expand the depth and breadth of their knowledge to the fullest extent possible. Teaching should involve helping students to learn what they need or want to know when they are ready to learn, not when some outside determinant says they should be ready. Community School strives to create an atmosphere or a climate which stimulates desire and growth. We envision learning as creating meaning, and particularly as creating meaning based on prior experiences and understandings.
Over the course of their preschool, elementary, and secondary school years at Community School our students are encouraged to develop an eagerness to learn and explore and an appreciation for the variety and wonder of the world. They build confidence in their own abilities to learn and to express their ideas. We stress respect for themselves and for others, and for individual differences among people. We encourage self-motivation, self-reliance, and the ability to complete and critically evaluate tasks or projects. We want students to use the ability to do logical problem-solving, both as individuals and as group members. Cooperation and collaboration are viewed as important to life in and out of school. Research shows that a cooperative atmosphere makes people happier, more secure, and more productive.
People have multiple abilities (linguistic, mathematical, personal, spatial, bodily, musical, etc.), and curriculum should be designed to address all avenues of learning. Curriculum is a means not an end. Therefore, we utilize varied curricula and instructional methods, but do not offer pre-designed "programs" or instructional packages. We try to provide experiences that challenge students and teachers, encourage risk-taking, and make a difference in our lives. Most of what we do comes from the students and the teachers. We are a community of learners.
Schools can't possibly teach students all the factual knowledge they will need to know in their lives. (They) need to know how to learn, how to think critically, how to communicate effectively, how to solve problems as they arise. Teaching those skills must become a primary goal of education. --Joan Gaustad: Nongraded Education
At Community School we want our students to be able to communicate effectively. We want them to have more than adequate skills in academic areas. We want them to be physically aware and healthy. We want them to appreciate literature, music, and visual and performing arts. We want them to apply their knowledge to the betterment of their communities and of the planet. Most of all we want them to be intrinsically motivated to be lifelong learners and to be lifelong change agents. We want students to become responsible and active world citizens with a zest for learning and a passion for using information to solve problems."
Excerpted from the preschool's website