Guiding Principles and Values

Guiding Principles

  • The Inherent worth and dignity of every human
  • Nonviolence and compassion in words, actions and speech
  • Unconditional positive regard for all
  • Deep respect for the interdependent web of  all existence

Guiding Values

Many of these values overlap, or mean similar things.  I find it helpful sometimes to tease them apart and look at the depth of meaning and nuance in each one.

Curiosity, for example, is a disposition for both inner and outer experience.  Curiosity can be about emotion or actions, or natural phenomena, or really anything.

Curiosity supports all inquiry and learning and has a non-judging forward moving quality.  In our setting, it is a foundation of inner work…of spiritual reflection and growth as parents, teachers and children. Curiosity is the foundation of an emergent curriculum. It is often the foundation of understanding in conflict, social exchanges, empathy.

We value authentic unfolding.

Each human  has their own rhythm and timing for their own unfolding and development . We value this as an essential right of human existence and especially childhood.

Children need dependable adult support to advocate for their rights to their authentic unfolding , and to push away societal pressures and haste to have them grow up or continuously advance.

Each of us can grow and learn at our own edges, seeking and valuing natural and authentic growth unique to us and our needs, not STANDARDS.  We are each born into this world with unique constitution, gifts, dispositions.  Our calling is to STAY with, TRUST in,  and HONOR this unfolding.


In our society, much focus is placed on the intellectual aspect of schooling, to the detriment of other parts that are essential to humanity and our well-being. This doesn’t have to be.  Intellectual capacities do not have to be developed in exclusion of other vital aspects of our growth. We seek to awaken the whole child to nurture complete, fulfilled human beings.

  • Compassion
  • Loving Kindness
  • Non Judging Awareness
  • Mindfulness
  • Gratitude


  • Awe
  • Joy
  • Perseverance
  • Curiosity
  • Inventiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity


  • The Image of the Learner: Children’s and adults rights to construct their own experience and education
  • Emergent and Negotiated Curriculum:  not a preplanned or boxed curriculum
  • Relationships: adults and  children as partners in learning
  • The Power of Documentation and Making Learning Visible
  • The Role of Space and Environment to inform experience
  • Unhurried time to explore and work and play
  • Play:  The right and essential need of all humans to PLAY
  • Social Construction of experience
  • The Hundred (or infinite) language of children (and adults)– valuing their care, nurturance and inspiration.