My dear friend Kris surprised me with a question…”could you come dance at my school for career day?” Of course I said yes! When I grew up, I always said that I wanted to be a ballerina. I’m an educator with a dancer’s heart. The best audiences are always children. I was delighted and can’t say enough about the charming new Ivybrook Academy where she is the principal.
Ivybrook has an Italian philosophy which makes me love it even more. The space is aesthetically pleasing and everywhere you look, there is nature and curiosity bursting for little hands to explore safely. Participation is very important and seen as a way children find direction. These sweet little students danced with me and together we found a happy sense of belonging.
There’s a beautiful quote on the wall at Ivybrook Academy that says, “In a face we find expression, in dance we find direction. In an embrace we find each other; in a community we find ourselves.”
This quote makes me think of Paulo Freire and his analysis of how critical learning theory might impact teaching and the instructional design process. I remember from college that Freire very much appreciated his equal student and teacher relationship. The quote resonated with me when I was dancing with the baby ballerinas because just like Freire, this school was empowering and supporting students. Freire and Ivybrook Academy open my eyes to how improving a child’s humanity will improve their achievement in school and just how important it is to create fair experiences and opportunities at a young age.
When you read what Paulo Freire says about education, you can’t help but think of young children and how they are being prepared to find direction:
- Education is freedom.
- Education is an act of love, and thus an act of courage.
- Reading is not walking on the words; it’s grasping the soul of them.
- Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferals of information.
- Learning is a process where knowledge is presented to us, then shaped through understanding, discussion, and reflection.