Philosophy of Teaching & Learning:
"Hope is not something we have, but something we do," (Macy, 2012) - a verb, not a noun. Everyday on the homestead we perform life-affirming activities that transform negative emotions like anxiety, fear, and hopelessness into energy for change. The entire Living-in Maine-Semester embodies active hope!
Place-Based and Applied:
All learning originates from, or relates back to, our place, time, and situation.
We teach across disciplines. Ecology, economy, history, literature, art, craft, and social studies collaborate to deepen understandings of Maine, N'dakina.
The most important part of experiential learning is reflection. Reflection is like a cocoon, a quiet space in which experience transforms into understanding. The journal, sit-spot and “story of the day” are tools of daily reflective practice.
Semester teachers recognize teachers and students as lifelong learners on the path of becoming their best selves.
Students earn and are entrusted with real responsibilities that affect the well-being of themselves and others.
Pushing beyond the edges of comfort, both physical and intellectual, is necessary for learning.
In daily practice we create a safe space for sharing, learning, and supporting each other. It is imperative that students feel welcome to be their own true selves without fear of judgment.
Multiple Ways of Knowing:
We recognize indigenous science, western science, intuition and love as equally valuable tools for making sense of our complex world.
Ecological intelligence stems from direct participation with the web of life. Ecological intelligence grasps the vastness of time scales in nature, thinks outside of cultural norms, asks the big questions, and measures truth in metrics of ecological integrity. Ultimately, ecological intelligence equips young people to trust their observations, draw their own conclusions, and act on behalf of the well being of the whole.