The Middle Way School relies on innovative education research and highly-skilled teachers to provide an individualized education. Our developmental approach to teaching and learning allows conventional subjects to be taught in ways that matter to students. Throughout the study of texts and numbers, play, contemplation, and exploration, students are encouraged to use inquiry as the foundation for academic achievement. The aim is to awaken students’ intelligence, discernment, and awareness of themselves and the world.
Our specialty classes include parkour with Innate Movement, Sanskrit with Tara, percussion with AnnMarie, Music with Guthrie, Aikido with Sensei Ralph, dharma art with Noa, theater with Megan, outdoor education with Dorothy, and more.
A deep understanding of human development, from infancy to adulthood, is at the foundation of the Middle Way Education and influences all aspects of our comprehensive model, including pedagogy, teacher training, school design, and the scope and sequence of our curriculum. What makes the Middle Way Three-Branch model unique is that it merges current research on human development in the fields of psychology, medicine, and education with Buddhist psychology and practice.
DOMAINS OF LEARNING
Middle Way Education’s Five Guiding Principles, inspired by the qualities of the five elements—water, earth, fire, air, space—guide our approach to teaching and learning as well as our five content areas of study. Each of the Five Guiding Principles correlates with a Domain of Learning. When the Three Branches meet the Five Guiding Principles and Domains of Learning, they create a comprehensive pedagogical and curriculum framework., the basis of Middle Way Education. We extend our deep gratitude to Dee Joy Coulter, Marti Holley, Kristin Lhatso, and Steven Sachs for their work on the Five Domains of Learning in its earliest form at Eastern Sun Academy in Boulder, Colorado.
RHYTHM OF THE DAY
The school day is 8:40 a.m – 3:15 p.m. We start our mornings outdoors with a run through the back woods and some warming movement. Each class then spends some time getting grounded and settled using mindful breathing and songs in morning circle. From there, the daily rhythm is a balance of active and quiet, indoor and outdoor, independent and group activities. We have blocks for math and literacy, social studies, unfettered time and daily classroom care taking. And of course recess. Children spend a minimum of 1.5 hours outdoors. There is a half hour specialty class each day after lunch in which children engage in music, art, Sanskrit, aikido, parkour, theater, or percussion. Parents are welcome to use our Buddha hall for yoga or meditation after drop off. Friday afternoons are optional. From 1-3 PM students are outdoors or doing longer arts and movement projects. Snow Lions (ages 3-4) nap after lunch.
Using the current best practices in progressive education, Middle Way aims for a high level of academic achievement while supporting students’ social-emotional wellbeing, confidence and love of learning. The early years at MWS focus on honing innate qualities such as awareness, discernment, respect, curiosity, non-aggression, non-judgment and a sense of the sacred. They learn to trust their judgement and to be their own teachers, to question, debate, and articulate their beliefs.
These qualities prepare students to engage in study of Buddhist history, philosophy, logic, and practice from the perspective of different lineages and traditions. Whether or not they choose to practice or to label themselves as Buddhists, the education encourages students to face the world with curiosity and compassion, dignity and confidence, and a healthy amount of playfulness.
We intend to create and environment in which our students can become connected, actively-involved, life-long learners, with a great capacity to manifest for the benefit of themselves and others. Considerable time has been put into developing a comprehensive list of outcomes, which we encourage you to read more about (link below).
A Middle Way graduate will be able to speak articulately about the fundamentals of Buddhism and have familiarity with the basic practices. They will have an appreciation of the teachings of the Buddha and understand how to apply them to daily life. Our aim is to present the various traditions as fully as possible, not blending them but celebrating the differences and commonalities, and becoming knowledgeable in all the ways that the Buddha’s teachings have been incorporated into human experience.
Preschool and Pre-K
Mixed-Grade Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Mixed-Grade 2nd and 3rd
Adding Grade 4
Adding Grade 5
Adding Grade 6