This school is all about Nature. When we were planning the school, we thought hard about the world we live in, the educational models that exist in the world, and what we wanted for the future.
We wanted a school that would work with children and their parents, not against them. We also wanted to prepare children as they grow up for an uncertain future.
The future has never been certain. But there are particular challenges right now. Climate change and technological advances are going to affect everyone. The question is: how do you prepare children to face this future?
What you learn at MBAT goes hand-in-hand with the way you learn it. The what includes a direct engagement with the natural world, both in the school’s farm and the sea. It starts with planting seeds and ends with hard science, but the impetus is the same. We have to learn to become good custodians of the Natural World by understanding it.
The how includes an idea about children’s personal developmental stories. We see that children are born into families. We feel it is unnatural to expect families to hand their children over to an educational system they are not engaged with. For this reason, parents and guardians are really important to MBAT: we want them to be engaged.
Growth and maturity come about as children become more and more independent of the loving hands that have guided them. We prepare children to grow into a world where they will have to make decisions for themselves by giving them the freedom to make choices about what they will do at school. They work in communities where they have to negotiate the problems that arise together. They don’t always look to the teacher for the solution.
We think that this is a wise choice of action for a school today. It ties in with the wisdom traditions of many cultures. It is also appropriate to the modern world which will look to people who are used to making decisions and judging evidence.
So, that is the start of the project. It is a seed planted in hope and expectation: that children raised in this school will grow up healthy in mind and body, prepared to face the changing world with all the force of their personality and experience.