There is a spirit in every place--an intangible something that we intuitively know to be its characteristic energetic quality. It is the spirit of a place that makes it memorable. It expands our sense of possibility, and puts us in touch with what is most loving, creative and human in ourselves.
The Oakland Garden School (OGS) is a place of wonder, discovery, creativity, freedom and beauty. The preschool’s garden setting is a vessel for this most critical time in our children’s journey.
The conception of OGS began with a set of questions posed by early childhood educators, thoughtful parents, and conscientious human beings: What are your favorite childhood memories? Were they outdoors or indoors? Were they with kids or adults? Were they with artificial factory made toys or something out in nature or with an animal?
At OGS, we believes that childhood is the time to wonder and explore, which create the critical foundation for the journey of a human being –the early grade school years, puberty, and adulthood. These are the times to create memories that will sustain our children throughout their whole lives. We must not force our children to perform for adult standards by compromising their early childhood experience. We believe in children’s innate interest and capacity for learning and thriving within a creative, stimulating environment based on the theory of multiple intelligence and the organic learning process.
At OGS, we promote, foster, and nurture the following tenets:
1. Nature: Nature has been the inspiration to many great thinkers, artists, and poets. We want that for our children. OGS is the place for them to have nature in their daily life.
2. Curiosity: Children learn the best in what they instinctively show interest in. We want that for our children. We strive to stimulate interesting experiences, curriculum, and environments in order to promote their curiosity. Just imagine what Pigmy goats, chickens, and duckswill do?
3. Elements of life: Sand, water, rocks and old logs as their play materials. The Garden is the metaphor of life where things are always transforming, changing, and growing.
4. Self and friends: Sense of self as an individual comes from the value of friendship. OGS is a place to experience the skills of negotiation, cooperation, and co-activity while at the same time not compromising a unique sense of self.
5. Community: OGS is the place for inspiring community. Where we as adults, promote the energy of buildings lives together with our children and the community.