Child-centered

“Only by understanding and respecting his nature as it is
can he be helped to achieve the equilibrium of true maturity.”J. Donald Walters, Education for Life

A true Education for Life is uniquely structured around a balanced approach to each student’s growth and development. It offers personalized learning experiences designed to help students achieve academic excellence, build meaningful connections with others, and prepare for the challenges of life through creativity, service to others, dynamic adventure, and self-discovery.

“The children get so much love, they feel safe to be themselves. Then anything can happen: learning, growing, they are just wide open. They have so much self-assurance, so much confidence in their abilities, they can learn anything!”
LWS Parent, Palo Alto

Education for Life is child centered, in the sense that every aspect of school should be focused on supporting the all-around, balanced development of each student.

For more than 40 years Education for Life has helped children thrive academically and personally. A success that is based on a proven principle: children who are happy and confident approach learning with enthusiasm.
Children who feel respected, included, and safe can enjoy the challenges of a rigorous academic curriculum, delivered in an expansive spirit of joyful adventure.

Most education is curriculum-centered, focused on specific information or skills that teachers are trained to transmit to the students. How do you teach reading? How do you teach math? Questions like these dominate most training programs. While it is helpful to have some background in these areas, the crucial problem with this approach is that it immediately places the focus on What is being taught, instead of on Who is learning, with potentially devastating consequences for the student.
EFL by contrast, is student-centered, with the goal of identifying and cultivating each student’s highest potential.
When children’s individual strengths are continually and consistently encouraged and reinforced, they develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning.
Classes are kept small, so that the teachers can work closely with each child. The teachers are trained to assess each child’s physical, mental, and emotional development and guide the child accordingly.
There is ample evidence that when students feel that their education is focused around their needs and interests, the initial love of learning flourishes throughout the school years.

When a teacher takes the time to create classroom activities based on the needs and interests of the students, school becomes an exciting, life-enhancing experience that goes a long way toward solving the problem of student engagement.

With experience, teachers develop an intuitive sense for what children need, along with the confidence to implement creative ideas that meet these needs.

The emphasis on a child-centered curriculum also contributes to a feeling of mutual respect between teacher and student. In paying close attention to individuals, the teacher develops an appreciation for each student’s positive qualities. Children, on the other hand, sense that the teacher is seeking to adapt the learning process to their interests and abilities as opposed to imposing a rigid program of prearranged lessons. In this way teacher and students can partake in the excitement of co-creating the curriculum.

“If we can retain a focus on each new child that comes into our class, take the time to connect with the child, and then use this connection as the basis for utilizing all the wonderful tools of EFL, we will be doing our part to serve the highest needs of our students and fulfill the mission of Education for Life.”

Nitai Derania