Back to blog

Surprising Truth: Adults are Not in Charge

By Zach Lahn on March 30, 2022

Truth #1: Our guides are not in charge of learning.

The truth is that we transfer this power from the adults in the studio to the learners. This is one of the key distinguishing and disruptive elements of our school.

It is “distinguishing” because pushing power from guide (or teacher) to learner is a complete reversal of the traditional power structure of schools. It is “disruptive” because this idea forces people to make a personal decision about the purpose of school and the role of the adults in the equation. These questions lure us out of our comfort zone and into a world of “what ifs.”

As parents at Wonder we have already jumped into this realm of wide open possibilities for what “school” can mean. Together we have declared that we want something contrary to what the cultural norm offers.

What does this power shift look like?

Part of our work each day is to create an environment that allows learners to choose a path of discovery that includes making choices, wrestling with big questions, practicing skills, experiencing self-discipline and rigor, failing, finding passion and moving toward mastery. The goal is that our children will be independent lifelong learners who fully accept that they are responsible decision-makers in their learning; and who will find a calling that helps them live a life rich with meaning.

Food for thought:

I embrace the vision of the role of a teacher and parent in the attached article: Your Image of the Child: Where Teaching Begins.

This vision hits at the heart of Wonder. I believe it will touch your heart as a parent, as well.

When you have 20 minutes and need some inspiration: Jeff Sandefer’s TEDx talk

[Blogs or portion of blogs may be adapted from the blog of our partner school founder and advisor, Laura Sandefer.]