Karen Brown, Creative Director for The Center for Ecoliteracy and an advocate of “Smart by Nature Education” highlighted Midland School‘s environmental stewardship and community ethos in her talk at last week’s Bioneers Conference 2011. Midland’s a co-ed boarding school in Los Olivos, CA.
Framed by her questions and commentary,
“What education might have been more appropriate for living sustainably on earth?” and “real schools doing real work today that we find incredibly smart and vital,” Brown noted the lasting value of Midland’s pursuit, and dedication, to community, working together, and continually challenging oneself, and each other, with the quandry, “what do we need versus what do we want, or simply, desire to have?”(KB)
Everyday, Midland adults and students make judgments within the framework of working with and caring for what you have versus what you want. Brown, notes these Midland choices:
- As a school, you need a high speed internet connection. But, you don’t need a cell phone. Midland has no cell phones.
- Buildings are not painted. If you don’t paint you don’t repaint.
- Students use available materials for academic projects.
- Midland’s student built solar program.
Midland’s community, needs-versus-wants approach creates a web of positive results from everything the school engages in. Students grow to understand notions community, responsibility, restraint, judgement, stewardship, labor, and creativity (just to name a few) from the inside out.
Practices that Brown argues, prepares students “to live sustainably on earth.”(KB)
Brown’s section covering Midland comes at 24:45 of the video.
Watch the video and learn more about Karen Brown and “Smart by Nature Education.”