The purpose of education is to help the child discover, understand and feel part of the world, and to help the child develop the skills and confidence necessary to fully participate in it. As described by the 1996 UNESCO report “Learning: the Treasure Within,” the four great life skills that children need to develop over the course of their child and young adulthood are: learning to do, learning to know, learning to be in community, and learning to be in the world. Certainly schools whose purpose is to have children learn to memorize facts and to obey uncritically will have great difficulty adapting to the needs of the XXI century child. Montessori schools have one hundred years of practice educating children for these four great life skills!
At City Country School we believe that the entire mind of the child needs tending to, not just the part that receives information. In fact, we look upon the mind as the heart-mind, because the two cannot be separated, especially in the child. If a school is tending to the heart-minds of its students, then everything done in school must be done with care, thought and respect. What the child studies and does in school must speak to the reality of his/her experience, it must be wholesome and sustaining to the spirit, it must be nourishing to his/her curiosity, it must feel important and beautiful to know, growing a desire to learn that can be sustained through a lifetime.