In a recent interview with a family whose child will be enrolled with Roberts Field next year, I asked one of the parents a fairly perfunctory question: "Why are you most interested in Roberts Field for your child?" Quite unexpectedly I was met with an answer that expanded my viewpoint of our mission. She responded that although her child was very happy at his current school, ultimately she was looking for a philosophy that was devoted to a more "prismatic" educational approach; that she realized the great importance of that approach at this time. Out of nowhere, her response accomplished two main things: it inspired me greatly as a new and extra-dimensional way (and word) in which to think about our school's mission, and it reminded me how our families continuously inspire and educate us as a school in the importance of what we are, what we do, and the formative place we hold in their child's life.
Reflecting upon the word prismatic, I am reminded of the natural mechanics of a prism, how it works, what offers the atmosphere and physical dimension of our world, and the necessary spectrum of color it provides to our perceptive reality. To educate deeply and in a transformative way, it struck me that we can think of education itself not as the prism but rather the light, and our child's mind as the prism. There is the white light of the sun, for this world, that meets their minds, and from that compulsory contact, the colors of their mind are then scattered forth and projected beyond into the structures of civilization and society.
Yes, our children's minds are their very own distinct and inimitable custom prisms, distributing unique, tightly woven, tightly cultivated spectrums of color to society.
We are devoted to the interdisciplinary web of education at Roberts Field because we believe that the highly nuanced and diverse light of guidance that holds creativity, compassion, and extreme thoughtfulness as central will bely a whole new foundation of empathetic belief systems in our children's lives. From this knowledge that we give to them, and through the way in which it is transmitted, they'll understand and interact with humanity with a clarified set of mandates and expectations; ones rooted in whole justice. If we teach our children with the light that allows for as much diversity of input and practice in learning as possible, how this sunlight then reaches them and empowers their perception! How big and open and inclusive and innovative are the spectrums of color they distribute to the world in their thought, creativity, lifestyles, and relationships. To live and learn prismatically in an intentional way is to care about the world and to understand that one's education can be the greatest resource in how we go on to build forth in this world, justly.
As a school, we are about to embark upon a workshop series that guides families on how to speak to our children about race. Again, this matter of the prism arises for me. At Roberts Field we nurture creativity as a main element of our daily process of learning, and not as an ancillary or extracurricular construct. We do this because we believe that through being connected regularly to nature and with creativity central to learning, the child's mind, sensibility, and value system will be formed differently. From the way in which children are educated they will go on to seek, value, and uphold the core thoughtfulness, justice, and fellowship in a way that we want to see positively evolved in the world. As we further deal with the complex of race and diversity, to be educated about race is one thing. However, to authentically expect, to truly want and be attracted to a thorough, equal, and regular integration of impactful and diverse differences as a part of our daily, personal experience requires that we are both educated and nurtured from a very specific form of light, from very early on in our development.
These last 2 weeks during the Day in the Field, the children studied Light, Change, Time-- Sundials! They went on to create one massive sundial from pieces of nature in the park. Throughout the session they returned at different times to witness and document the passing of time displayed through the gnoman's moving shadow. Hence, this: that light will continually shine, and repeatedly the children are always processing and creating from that light, through the prisms of their minds.