Philosophy of Education

The more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.
— Henry David Thoreau

Our philosophy of education is inspired by Waldorf Education, a form of humanistic education developed by Rudolf Steiner in the early twentieth century. Taproot's philosophy is holistic, giving equal measure to the realms of thinking, feeling, and willing. We approach teaching and learning through the lens of childhood development, foregoing a fear- and proficiency-based curriculum for one that cultivates beauty, imagination, and caring relations. By encouraging arts-based learning and connections through aesthetic experiences, Taproot’s aim is to make science beautiful and inspiring by valuing the beauty and good in the world instead of from a position of fear and hopelessness. We strive for children and adults to learn and discover from a phenomenological perspective that brings context and value to learning experiences while developing the capacity for learning to care for the environment. We believe that the path toward an eco-conscious society is to nurture empathy and develop a deep, caring relationship with the land.

We believe education should…

  • educate the whole student, aiming beyond their intellect to acknowledge and engage their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social being
  • be developmentally appropriate while at the same time acknowledging that a child constructs her knowledge from her experiences with the environment and within a broader social system
  • be ecological by exploring the interconnectedness of the world through a systems and resilience thinking lens and by helping to nurture relationships with each other and with the natural world
  • be grounded in place  
  • be integrated across disciplines and immersed in the arts
  • be imaginative and transformative, motivating students to become empowered change agents
  • be experiential, allowing students to become immersed in aesthetic experiences while allowing time for critical analysis and reflection
  • nurture empathetic individuals 
  • develop culturally aware individuals who acknowledge many different worldviews and values
  • nurture creative individuals who are self-motivated, self-directed, and life-long learners