Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility - these three forces are the very nerve of education.
- Rudolf Steiner
The purpose of Running River School, in Sedona, AZ, is to provide an affordable independent elementary education. Our integrative and experiential educational environment strongly respects the child as a unique individual with multiple intelligences. We recognize that academic and social growth of the child take place through developmental stages and that learning should happen in ways, and points in time, that are most fitting for the child to flourish as a whole human being. The multiple aspects of human development supported by Running River School include the physical, both brain and body, as well as the emotional and mental. This whole-child approach fosters a life-long love of learning, a deep sense of self, compassion and social integrity. These holistic goals, combined with academic success, will serve both the child as an individual and the larger community to which they will eventually belong. To accomplish these goals, Running River School follows a model inspired by Waldorf education.
In practice, our philosophy, curriculum and classroom environment are strongly influenced by the educational philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, also referred to as Waldorf education. Any school inspired by this model will often refer to servicing the whole child, "head, hands and heart". We believe this to be a vital part of educating the children of today. We also believe that education is a creative process, and knowledge is best integrated when the experiential meets the academic. Like all academic models, Running River School will attend to the ability of the child to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, math and science, and related skills of symbolic information processing. Unlike all academic models, we will also:
All of the above will cooperatively guide them to develop the confidence and skills to engage their ever changing world in satisfying and successful ways. Music, art, handwork, physical movement/play, and foreign languages are crucial to the attainment of these goals, and will be featured as elements of the core curriculum.
Running River School will help foster a child's development in such a way that many of the usual metrics of “success” will be easily met or surpassed, by the time a child enters high school. For a comprehensive, independent study covering the success of this model please review this research.
By respecting the whole child, "head, hands and heart," in a developmentally appropriate way, we anticipate a level of happiness, self-efficacy, competence, and integrity that will set our students apart. They will be on a path to becoming strong, intelligent, healthy, and sought-after leaders for our increasingly complex world.