WHO WE ARE
WG is a unique learning model, a forward-thinking cause and enriching experience, fostering a culture of “YES”.
We strive to cultivate a new model of Education that flourishes the whole child, giving them a voice in their own learning pathways, so that they can thrive with true purpose in our ever-changing world. We invite you to join our community and discover the difference for your family.
From our origins at Austin, Texas, we have become a colorful movement in education, with new partners joining us frequently to help create our “edible and living” curriculum, educating for sustainability through community-integrated, entrepreneurial learning, in a natural environment.
The true value of the WG School community resides in the connection of all our families, educators, volunteers, and our local neighbors. The diversity within our community is a beautiful rainbow of multicultural benefits; from the variety of languages, beliefs and traditions to the wide range of values, principles and identities.
We are gifted with consistent exposure to new ways of going about life that nourishes our tolerance, broadens our perspectives and feeds our global intelligence.
Our learning environment is a place for exploration, learning, contribution and joy. The community is connected locally and globally. From a small community in the heart of Austin, TX, Wholesome Generation engages deeply, locally and connects powerfully globally, to play a part in creating healthy citizens that feel connected to their journey.
Our campus is immersed in a large natural space next to a creek bed, providing constant opportunities to experience the impact that we have on our environment. To build an appreciation of sustainability, our students start small by thinking locally, they reacquaint themselves with the environment and rebuild their symbiotic relationship with it.
Day-by-day, our community develops a strong bond with nature. By making it part of who we are, we feel inclined to nourish it, compelled to respect it and empowered to care for it now and forever.
Lene Saint-Orens has taken her vision of holistic education and applied it to the natural spaces at Wholesome Generation. Our buildings are not our first focus, but our lush trees are, along with our nourishing creek, providing shelter for wildlife, being a wonder in the middle of a big city. Lene is giving back to the land that used to belong to the Tonkawa Tribe and has adopted her, by expanding, yet preserving, the innate beauty, plentiful culture and genuine souls of this magical space.
ABOUT REGGIO EMILIA
The Reggio Emilia philosophy emerged from a town in Northern Italy called Reggio Emilia, shortly after World War II. Due to the destruction from the war, parents believed they needed a new approach to teaching their children. Today, the Reggio Emilia is recognized for having some of the best schools in the world.
The approach is based on the following principles:
The curriculum is based on the interests of the children. Study topics are developed from the talk of children, family and community events, as well as known interests of children (such as puddles, shadows, dinosaurs etc.). Our teachers work together as a team to talk about the direction of a project, the materials needed, and possible parent or community involvement.
Projects allow for more in-depth studies of concepts and ideas that come from the class. Project work is treated like an adventure and could last anywhere from one week to the full school year. Teachers guide the students in making decisions about the direction of the project, and the ways in which the topic will be researched and presented. Long-term projects enrich the children’s learning and are meant to be thought-provoking as children explore, build and test theories, and record their results.
Multiple Symbolic Languages
The arts are used as a symbolic language in which children can express their understandings in their project work. The graphic arts are used as tools for cognitive, linguistic, and social development. Presenting concepts and hypotheses in multiple forms as such print, art, construction, drama, music, puppetry and shadow play, are essential to the children’s understanding of their experience.
Group work is essential in advancing cognitive development. Children are encouraged to dialogue, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem solve through group work. Collaboration among home, school, and the community to support the learning of the child is highly emphasized.
Teachers as Researchers
The role of the teacher is first and foremost to be a learner alongside the children. The teacher is a researcher, a resource, and a guide as she shares her expertise with the children. In this “teacher-researcher” role, educators carefully listen, observe, and document the children’s work, provoking and stimulating thinking. The teachers also reflect on their own teaching and learning, and work in pairs, sharing information, and mentoring each other.
Documenting and displaying children’s work is necessary so that children can express, revisit, and construct and reconstruct their feelings, ideas, and understandings. Documenting children’s work in progress is an important tool in the learning process for children, teachers, and parents. The teachers act as recorders for the children, helping them trace and revisit their words and actions and making the learning visible.
The Reggio-Inspired approach is grounded in a strong image of the child. We view each child as powerful, unique and capable. We value their thoughts, interests, imagination and enthusiasm. The role of the teacher is to co-navigate the learning journey while provoking ideas, problem-solving, encouraging dialogue and sharing educational experiences alongside the children. We embrace the connection between home and school, and the community.
We firmly believe that our child-centered philosophy, outstanding teachers, community initiatives and unparalleled level of communication will provide you and your child with the best possible education and experience.
Our website is designed to provide an overview of our innovative, project-based curriculum as well as our welcoming, state-of-the-art learning environment. More importantly, we invite you to schedule a tour of our campus, meet our excellent team of educators, and witness our wonderful model “in action.”
Learn About Wholesome Generation’s Progressive Approach:
Learn About Wholesome Generation’s Core Curriculum: