Learning Comes Naturally
Talking Stick Learning Center is based on the idea that the ability to learn is innate. We are born with the drive to experience the world around us, including relationships with other people, and apply our experiences to make decisions about what we want to do in the world.
We have committed this organization to joyfully addressing the following question: Since learning is inherent, what are the ways it is most effectively nurtured in young people?
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." -- Albert Einstein
Decision Making Opportunities Develop Self-Direction
Participants choose what to do when, with whom, where and how. Adult facilitators ensure that activities are safe, instruct when invited, and coach communication skills.
"True learning -- learning that is permanent and useful, that leads to intelligent action and further learning -- can arise only out of the experience, the interest, and concerns of the learner." -- John Holt
Experiential Learning Integrates Information
We learn well with our hands and our bodies. Instead of only studying ideas in theory, we practice them in reality. Through building, creating, and acting, we develop an understanding of math concepts, practice hand writing, and experience the laws of physics.
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -- Confucius
Group Learning Experiences Foster Collaboration
Working together helps us develop positive communications ksils, understand our roles in group dynamics, and experience the power of the group to achieve what the lone individual cannot.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -- Helen Keller
Conflict Resolution Coaching Improves Communication Skills
Conflict is an opportunity for growth and relationship building. When others model empathy and understanding, we learn to practice techniques that help us to figure out how to all get what we are wanting. Our process includes recognizing and expressing feelings and needs clearly.
"The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way in which we use them." -- Adrianna Doyle
Problem Solving Experiences Boost Self Esteem
Practicing thinking skills involves exploring a concept from different perspectives, recognizing patterns, making connections, and developing multiple solutions for solving problems and reaching goals. Healthy self-esteem is integral to approaching challenges with an open, creative attitude.
"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -- Robert Lewin
A Variety Of Ages Expands The Learning Process
People of all ages learn from one another. Chronologic age can be a factor in compatibility but more important are personalities, levels of development, and types of interests. Our activities can be scaled up or down. People learn much about expected behaviors by modeling the behaviors of their elders and peers. We also learn by watching others practice skills and activities we may want to try.
"Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how." -- John Holt
Talking Stick Learning Center seeks to create a learning environment that fosters respect for people across identities.
We welcome and value individuals and their differences, including:
- gender expression and identity
- economic status
- national origin
- first language
- faith and non-faith perspectives
- age, and
Explicit recognition of diversity is understood as a source of strength.
It is from the intersection of our differences that we learn from one another and see our complex world from new and informed perspectives.