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Welcome to Wonder

By Zach Lahn on September 21, 2017

Welcome to Wonder. On this blog, we will be sharing the details of our plan to launch a learner-driven school here in Wichita in 2018.

But, before we get there, we wanted to take time and talk about the why, what, and how behind this project. This blog will help provide answers to those and other questions.

First. What is Wonder?

Wonder is a state of curiosity – a perpetual desire to learn and do something new. As a school, Wonder is a belief that through learning and curiosity, every child has the ability to find a calling and change the world.

Today, however, while the world is changing more rapidly than possibly ever before, our schools are not. Our children are being, and will continue to be, left at a competitive disadvantage unless we make significant changes to properly prepare them for what lies ahead.

For more than 100 years, and in large part still today, schools in America have focused heavily on training students to build content knowledge. Through the function of traditional schools, students have been taught that what they need to do, to be successful in the future, is retain a vast amount of base level knowledge for a short time, regardless of relevancy, on many subjects.

It should not be a surprise that in the age of Google, this training is obsolete. Traditional schools, public and private, are preparing students for a future that no longer exists.

What lies ahead for today’s students is a future where doing is far more important than memorizing. A future where you prove what you know, not through tests, but through creation and by solving complex and relevant problems while working on teams. And a future where learning to adapt to and thrive during change is more important than ever before.

We believe We know that each child has the ability to succeed in that future because each child has innate abilities and strengths that, once developed into skills, can be used to add value to the lives of others. We seek to help students find that point – the intersection of passion, strengths and abilities, and needs of others. In doing that, we believe each child can live a successful and fulfilling life prepared to truly change the world for the better. This to us is a hero’s journey.

At Wonder, our mission is to be a school where each student that walks through our doors understands they are on that hero’s journey to find their calling and change the world. We seek to help bring up a generation of doers – leaders, creators, innovators, and discoverers – by challenging students to take ownership in their own learning and in their future.

Our promise to our parents and students is that we will be a school that continually innovates and adapts to changes so our students will spend the most developmentally crucial years of their lives preparing to be successful throughout the rest of their lives.

In upcoming blogs we will be outlining the basic tenants of our learning design and explaining how we plan to use interdisciplinary work through problem-based and project-based learning, simulations, ethical dilemmas, and quests to help young people find their strengths and prepare for the challenges and opportunities that the future presents.

We look forward to sharing more and we hope you will join us on this journey.

(Zach & Annie)