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Springhouse envisions a culture of lifelong learning where people feel true belonging to themselves, their community, and the Earth.

Springhouse Community School

Floyd, Virginia
In a culture that fosters the myth separation, Springhouse is an intergenerational learning community seeking to grow a new possibility that reminds us that we are connected. To transform the ecological challenges we face, the world needs the gifts we are born with, which remain hidden, until they are invited forth into the light. Springhouse is a model of what education can be.
Introduction

Springhouse Community School- Reimagining the Purpose and Practice of Education

“If still more education is to save us, it would have to be education of a different kind;; an education that takes us into the depth of things. ”

E.F. Schumacher

Springhouse Community School is a living laboratory for reimagining education. Daily, we strive to be an environment that allows for the emergent by creating structures that invite and cultivate possibility. In our multi-generational learning community, we engage daily with questions that are rooted in our values, such as: 

  • How do we create a culture that is oriented around connection, and at the same time, respects individuality? 
  • How do we cultivate the trust and resiliency needed to allow for possibility to emerge? 
  • What are the skills needed to to be truly creative?
  • How do we live in ways that honor our deepest gifts and, at the same time, serve the communities that we live with? 

Albert Einstein wrote, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” In a culture that fosters the myth of disconnection and separation, Springhouse is seeking to grow a new (but ancient) possibility – one that reminds us that we are connected. We do belong. We are not alone. We are a born with a purpose; with unique gifts that the world needs. There is meaning in this life and we can trust that. This is rigorous daily work that requires risk, self awareness, humility, and working together. 

If you look up the Latin root for the word emerge, it means to “bring forth, to bring into the light.” Interestingly, the Latin root of educate means to “bring out, or to lead forth.” They sure sound similar, don’t they? The educational experience many of us have had included filling our heads with content that is then memorized and tested. So much research today tells us that we need much more than that if we are to face and transform our ecological challenges. The world needs the gifts we are born with, and those gifts remain hidden, until they are invited forth into the light.

In this LIVING LABORATORY you will explore:

POSSIBILITY- Learning skills to navigate ambiguity by cultivating patience, trust, and the ability to be present.

EMERGENCE- Learning how to care for, and cultivate, newly emerging ideas or ways of being as well as cultivating new ways of knowing and seeing.

CALLING- Learning how to be bold, courageous, and empathetic as we write a new (ancient) story of connection and care in our culture.

INTRODUCTION

Springhouse Community School is reimagining the purpose and practice of education by fostering the holistic development of youth, young adults, and adults. Springhouse envisions a culture of lifelong learning where people feel true belonging to themselves, their community, and the Earth. Springhouse offers a day school program for 7th-12th graders, rites of passage programs for pre-teens and teens, a leadership development program called The Well for young adults, and personal development programs for adults. 

Springhouse's educational approach is unique because it is intergenerational, learner-centered, competency-based, experiential, and holistic. Springhouse is the only independent high school in Floyd County and one of only three in the entire New River Valley. Over the past 4 years, Springhouse has served nearly 40 students through the day school program, while also serving nearly 20 young adults in The Well program, and over 50 adults in the personal development programs. Further, over 150 community members have volunteered their time at Springhouse, donating more than 1,700 hours in the last year alone. Springhouse is building a strong, passionate, and engaged community of youth, young adults, and adults by supporting them to discover and use their unique gifts and their authentic voice. Springhouse is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is governed by a Board of Trustees, directed by a Head of School, supported by a highly dedicated staff, and informed by an advisory council. 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Springhouse takes a place-based, intergenerational approach to learning. We understand that growing up requires a solid educational framework as well as the participation of the entire community. The Springhouse 7th-12th grade program facilitates the holistic development of our students. Our graduation requirements equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to navigate their lives and succeed in a rapidly changing world. Students work toward exemplary demonstration of the competencies, and earn credits in the major academic disciplines through the Six Fields of Study, which are outlined below. Students learn in a variety of ways in these programs, primarily by engaging in the Four Core Practices: learning by doing, mentoring, community collaborations, and embodied living. The result is a dynamic learning environment that strives to balance structure and freedom. 

Community members play an important role in an adolescent’s development. As a teenager leaves childhood and enters adolescence, they need support from adults in the community who are not their parents. Springhouse offers young adult and adult programming that supports adults in their personal development in the following ways: by giving them a framework for psycho-spiritual development that includes what adolescents need from their parents and community members, by providing adults with the opportunity to know themselves more deeply through celebrating their strengths and facing their areas of growth, and, finally, by giving adults the opportunity to be of service and grow together in community.

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Innovation Overview
8 - 18
Age Group
300
Children/Users
1
Country
2014
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
190
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Tips for implementation
Springhouse is a living laboratory for reimagining education and is informed by educational philosophies that orient around wholeness, sustainability, emergence, depth, and growth. Our program is rooted in community and place, and relationship is at the heart of all that we do.
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