Our Vision

School's Out

Arnold is one of the 57 million primary school-aged children who are out of school, and may be one of the 49% who will never enter school at all.

Though the numbers are improving, the basic human right to education is still inaccessible to many. Many children around the world receive no schooling because of, among many other reasons:

Surrounding Conflict
Labor Demands
Poverty and Malnutrition
Poor Funding/Infrastructure

And for those in school...

Lacking Resources

Just being in school, however, is not enough. In 2016 there was a global shortage of 2 million teachers, making the average teacher-pupil ratio 1 to 23. Moreover, classrooms are often cramped and lack resources. Of those children in school, millions may never see a book.

Old-style pedagogy

This resource problem reinforces rote-based and didactic pedagogical practices. Students are often told to memorize equations textbooks, or blindly repeat in unison what’s written on the board, instead of thinking critically, asking “why” and gaining deep understanding. The effect: the most docile therefore receive the greatest societal rewards. Higher-order learning skills that favor criticism and imagination languish while rigid institutions reproduce themselves. And even worse, these children grow up to be adults who care little for knowledge and wisdom.

New-style problems

Enduring but evolving challenges make this status quo increasingly untenable. Climate change means the frequency and intensity of drought and natural disasters, which effect the poor most profoundly, will rise. Population growth and the threat to the wage of low-skilled labor by automation, as well as the increasing nomadism of poor communities (see refugee crisis), are other examples. The interplay of new technology and new social contexts today invoke moral dilemma that cannot be solved by appeals to numbers or inherited truths.

Our Philosophy: Lovers of Learning

Schools can respond by better plugging into children's intrinsic motivators for learning by enacting a more natural, real-world, and experiential learning style.

Children have an innate tendency to find patterns. They grow up tasting and feeling their way around, asking questions constantly. This sensory process is rich and gratifying, and leads to deep understanding. But when we tell students that the world can be distilled to right and wrong, we delude them to quit this process, and instead fit themselves into boxes without asking why. They come to believe that learning has to be boring, unnatural, and sometimes punitive.

To meet this challenge, our workshops are geared to cultivate Lovers of Learning, who...

Use higher-order cognitive skills

They employ cognitive skills like searching, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating, that are too often ignored.

Have the power to imagine a different world

They examine their own communities with their critical minds and can see how to intervene to improve it.

Have confidence in their voices and abilities

They can effect the positive social change they envision by communicating effectively and inspiring others.

Are pro-social

They exhibit more empathetic attitudes and can transfer the social orientation of the classroom to real-world negotiations.

In order to abate the forces that keep so many children illiterate, in poverty, or out of school, therefore, we must help students see learning as expressive, gratifying and powerful. The kind of ownership that this affords would aid these communities develop robust institutions that realize lasting change on their own.

Our Vision

Our mission is to use cultural exchange as a basis to provide students with tools and attitudes that will help them live as inspired and effective citizens in the face of 21st-century challenges, and to provide lasting support for this shift by emulating to teachers and guiding them through this different ethos in action.

But the ultimate service that we can provide these communities is a hand in legitimating their positive visions and the narratives of their communities on a global scale. Our vision is to intrigue those around the world with the imagination and clever of these students and their stories, so as to one day form a loyal community of readers and authors around the world connected through story.