The Farm School
Located in Summertown, Tennessee (about an hour and a half South-Southwest of Nashville), The Farm School has been serving The Farm Community and selected students from outside the community since 1971. Established as a one-room school, we are now a K-12 educational resource center housed in a beautiful passive solar building serving day students from The Farm community and the surrounding area and over 300 international home-based learners through The Farm School Satellite Campuses Program (TFSSC).
A world of liberated actualized individuals expressing themselves creatively and communicating compassionately with each other, making collective decisions and manifesting a sustainable future.
Supporting individuals learning together as we interact, form relationships and build community with each other and the rest of the world.
Each of us is different in her or his own way, when we put our gifts together, like an orchestra we play.
If you are proud to be a member of an inclusive community and believe that diversity is a source of strength, welcome home.
We view learning as a natural activity
Our educational philosophy begins with the belief that all people have a natural desire to learn and grow, and that all aspects of life are a part of a person’s education.
We emphasize our connection to nature
We see human beings as parts of, and dependent on, a web of life that we are capable of enriching or destroying. To help us develop a reverence for the natural world that will help us build towards a sustainable culture we spend as much time observing and interacting with nature as we can.
We see each of us as gifted and unique
Our goal is helping all learners develop their unique strengths and overcome their unique challenges on their way to self actualization and personal liberation.
We are a relationship-based learning community
We are a community of diverse individuals connected by deep relationships; we all learn with and from each other. We invite our wider communities to join us and we spend much of our time learning out in these communities.
We are powered by diversity
We believe that the wisest communities are powered by diversity. We are fortunate to include families diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, ability, religion and sexual orientation.
We practice compassionate communication
Our differences are resources. We practice listening to each other and honoring each other's voices. We speak to express ourselves and listen to learn from each other.
We provide a cooperative learning environment
We use cooperation, not competition as a model. Intimidation and authoritarian means of implementing learning programs are not part of the agenda so learners have the freedom to be who they are without interference or judgment.
We are an interest-based learning community
Learners are encouraged to pursue their zeal, in a relaxed setting of encouragement and with a variety of resources.
We use a responsive project-based curriculum
We learn science, math, technology, social science and communication arts (i.e., languages, music and other art forms) as well as other social, emotional and practical skills as we engage in projects that come from our hearts.
We are a self-governing learning community
Our governance is one of our key ongoing projects. We make agreements about how we function as a learning community (e.g., how we: resolve conflicts, schedule activities and do assessment) during meetings where each of us has an equal voice.
We are a spiritual learning community
We see everything as interconnected and strive to be kind to ourselves, each other, our communities and our planet. Beyond that, we deeply respect all religious beliefs and faiths including atheism and agnosticism and require no statement of faith of any kind.
The Farm School is a consensus-democratic learning community. We attempt to achieve consensus on all shared decisions and use voting to make decisions when this seems like the most peaceful path to a decision. We make decisions about the daily functioning of the school during school meetings where students and teachers each have equal voice. Our Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA) makes decisions about the daily functioning of the school that require the input of parents. We make decisions specific to individual students during triadic meetings that include a student, her/his advisor and a family member. Our school board is accountable for the functioning of the school as a business and legal entity (non-profit corporation). We entrust our Principal to make recommendations about how to achieve our mission and to make time sensitive decisions on our behalf. Our principal has no special ownership privileges. The role of principal is that of a lead laborour. We expect our principal to be one of the workers at the school that puts in the most time on behalf of the school.
Please leave your comments below.
I think it's wonderful!
--Laura McKendree.....Fri Oct 01 14:27:25 -0700 2010
Both Serina and I like this entire statement very much. I was even a bit surprised to see something so specifically close to our own focus and interests, rather than just close in a general sense.
--Jeff Scott.....Mon Oct 04 16:50:05 -0700 2010
Laura and Jeff, thanks so much for your comments. I am very happy that these statements resonate for you. And, I want to make sure that everyone understands that agreeing with the above statements is in no way a requirement of being a part of our school. I'd love to hear from anyone who could like to see changes in any of the above statements. I deeply believe that diversity of opinion (and everything else) is a benefit to our community.
--Peter Kindfield.....Mon Oct 04 17:13:36 -0700 2010
you said it right peter"I deeply believe that diversity of opinion (and everything else) is a benefit to our community"THANKS!! for giving us parents the and your childern the time to be able of expressing themselves !! Lori Justice
--lori justice.....Thu Nov 24 08:03:14 -0800 2011