At Birchwood School of Hawken the why and how we educate holds the focus to cultivate a becoming life. What is meant by a becoming life? It is a life that:Pursues growth and progress in all aspects of what it means to be human – and seeks ways to thrive and flourish in any environment, under any condition, amidst all opportunities, before any challenge – even under adverse circumstances.
Simply put, the becoming life describes the process of becoming whatever it is a person can become. The becoming life encompasses the human experience. It includes achievements and attainments according to individual aptitudes and capacities. Hence, it is growth in education, in skill, in hobbies, and in recreational pursuits. Yet, it is more. It is growth in virtue: courage, self-control, justice and wisdom, and it is growth that deepens and enriches relationships with family, with friends, with fellow students, and with various social groups and society at large.
Education in this context is a means to call children to a higher plane of life; higher in knowledge, in experience, in character, in innovation, and in service. In a K-8 setting, education for becoming will still include familiar behavioral outcomes: academic achievement commensurate with capacity; ability to think critically, analytically, and creatively; opportunities to cultivate curiosity through exploration and discovery; and guidance toward social responsibility. But education for becoming goes further. It provides educational experiences within traditional disciplines, and it provides particular – sometimes unique – educational programming that cultivate the habits, mindset, and practice of becoming. In short, education for becoming provides children with the content, skills, attitudes, and aspiration to pursue a life of growing, thriving, and flourishing.