The Essential Curriculum

"Wisdom is not found in the world of form, nor in remote corners of the globe.  Wisdom lies within our own consciousness."

Sydney Banks, The Missing Link

The Essential Curriculum exists in the formless realm.  While saying it lies “in the ethers” may make it sound unscientific and illegitimate because it isn’t bricks and mortar, it is as real as the nose on one’s face.  It is so very tangible that is can be felt the minute one enters a school.  That first five minutes gives a pretty accurate indication of the institution’s “come from.”  

  • Is it welcoming?
  • Do people make eye contact?
  • Can you see evidence that students, staff and parents are honoured and respected?
  • Is there some beauty even in places that may have seen better days?
  • Is the administration part of what is happening or are they hidden away?
  • What do you feel when you walk in?

This “feeling barometer” lets us know both where we are at and where the school is coming from.  If we find we are in our place called home, our place of inner safety, we can be pretty sure that is exactly what is being engendered in the school.  The “FQ” (Feeling Quotient) is every bit as important as the IQ and the GPA and creates a space where deep learning can happen.

State of mind is the vitally important factor in The Essential Curriculum.  It creates schools where we see students “at promise” rather than “at risk”. (Kathy Marshall, et al, National Resilience Resource Center LCC)