It’s time for education to evolve
What is Future Before Us Education? It’s how Westmont describes this new category of education we’re building.
We’re intent on helping to evolve youth education, away from the conventional desk-and-test model that dominates schools today, toward integrated, experiential, real world education that develops a whole person while igniting a passion for life-long learning.
And yes, Future Before Us Education evokes the notion that massive change is already here, and will accelerate rapidly in the next decade. Let’s be ready for unprecedented change AND opportunity!
It’s all summed up in our manifesto.
Why manufacture learning, when the world is full of experiences to learn from?
Our mission is to identify experiences that facilitate an “Education for the Future Before Us”™. One that empowers the individual and fosters a community of collaborative contributors through interdisciplinary, integrated projects that make the world our class room.
We believe learning should be grounded in the type of experiences, challenges, and projects that one will encounter for the rest of their lives. It should offer the foundational knowledge and frameworks that will empower a student to explore their interests without having to unlearn manufactured ways of working or deconstruct silos that were imposed on their absorbent minds.
Each student is an individual, and so a static, one size fits all model will never serve their unique interests or learning style.
We believe students deserve to be seen and develop as whole individuals from the start of their education, not simply once they have graduated. We give them the opportunity to explore their innate and evolving talents throughout their journey. To foster a lifelong interest in learning, it is our job to nurture a growth mindset and to arm students with the tools of discovery and critical thinking, such that they can explore their own path, and navigate every decision point in between.
Most people say they learned more about the world and how it works once they got to university or took their first job. Age is no reason to wait for this realisation, or real life experience.
At Westmont, experiential learning begins at pre-k and elementary focusing on physical experiences in nature and with hands on tools. This expands in middle school with student directed projects that integrate multiple subjects and require high performance team work.
In our High School program, experiential learning comes to the fore and our learning is framed by projects tackled through the model of design thinking. We bring the students to the world both virtually and in person, by creating learning experiences in progressive environments that offer knowledge from the real world not a textbook – from business incubators to makerspaces, organic farms to ocean biology labs, university lectures to expert mentorships, local explorations to global adventures.
We choose to be an independent organization so we can remain nimble and able to adopt and adapt new programs as our community needs them. Our autonomy gives us the freedom to partner with innovators and experts as we identify new areas of interest for our students and new opportunities to learn from some of the most interesting people and organizations in the world.