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ISLA Philosophy of Learning


1. We want to be happy!

Happiness is a major goal of life and should thus be a major goal of education. 


2. We learn by experiencing nature and the world. 

The classroom is just one place where we can learn.  Children are powerfully affected, cognitively, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually, by their interactions with nature. We sincerely believe that nature is the greatest teacher that inspires creativity and positivity. We do not believe in concrete classrooms, nor that most learning should take place indoors. Indeed, prolonged time in enclosed spaces sealed from the wonder of nature, the beautiful impact of natural light and the warmth that comes from interacting daily with living things, may be detrimental to children’s growth and development. 


3. We work best when we work together. 

All students, of all ages and abilities, can contribute.  Children learn best when they are engaged with others.  That is, education is primarily a social experience of different ages, with different capacities and potentialities, providing the full richness of human diversity.


4. We are physically fit.  Healthy bodies make for healthy minds.

Being physically healthy is such an important part of living that it must be a central part of education. 


5. We always ask, “Why?”

Knowledge must always be accompanied by understanding of its origins and history, thus our teaching will always ask “Why do we know that?” and “How do we have confidence in the truth value of a knowledge claim?”


6. We love all things and we are protectors of the Earth.

Love and caring, two of the most critical of all human emotions, must be cultivated.  The capacity to care and love deeply, in different ways and towards different beings, is key to our humanity.


7. We want to understand: ourselves, our world, and our place in it.

Finding meaning in life is not an abstraction, but something we actively assist students in coming to terms with, through both the angst and the wonder of existence.


8. We are a part of the world and we share common experiences with everyone.

Humans are not complete without a spiritual compass and spiritual experiences. These are fundamental aspects of the human experience; it follows then that it must be a central part of education to expose students to a variety of spiritual experiences and traditions, to promote the ethical and moral development and maturation of our students, and to allow students to immerse themselves in full spirituality.


9. We love technology, but we also know it has dangers.  

Our students will be skilled users of technology and be keenly aware of its opportunities and pitfalls. 


10. We want to do well, now and in the future.

We believe in finding success, on terms that are sustainable and healthy in the long term.

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