Discussing the Goal of Real Education

“If it is true that each generation has an obligation to introduce their successors to a higher plane of life, then we would like to add our portion to this aspiration.”

by Charles and Helene Debelak

This article was written for the Birchwood community by co-founders Charles and Helene Debelak and appeared in Birchwood School of Hawkens March/April 2021 Clipboard newsletter. The Clipboard provides parents with information about sound educational principles and child development issues gleaned from history, contemporary research, and Mr. & Mrs. Debelaks years of educating, coaching, and counseling children, young adults, and parents.

When we founded Birchwood School of Hawken in 1984, we believed that if parents were to send their children to a private school, it was our responsibility to establish a sound philosophical foundation out from which a clear mission would flow. We have begun a heritage and legacy series of videos for educators – teachers and parents – discussing the goal of real education. Drawing from our knowledge of educational history, the science behind learning, and our own experience working directly with children and young adults. We are presenting a new episode each week in the H&L Video Series.

This article recaps the first several episodes in the initial series Educating Children: Principles for Becoming. Real education creates momentum toward lifelong learning and lifelong fulfillment. It generates internal motivation and capacity for growth through the accumulation of attitudes, habits, skills, and knowledge, which enables children “to become what they can become.”

Episode 1: Introduction
Education creates momentum toward lifelong learning and fulfillment. It generates internal motivation for growth through the accumulation of attitudes, habits, skills, and knowledge.

Episode 2: Reading
Learn the special role reading plays in creating momentum for growth. Reading is the quintessential educational experience for life. It opens windows for children to see, know, and experience stories that uplift them onto a higher plane of life.

Episode 3: Self-Determination I
Education should create momentum for growth. Learn how central self-determination is in helping children grow and make positive contributions to their communities at every stage in their lives.

Episode 4: Self-Determination II
Competency is a key component of self-determination. Teachers, parents, and coaches can help children grow competency by guiding them through setting realistic goals, supporting them as they work hard achieving those goals, and then celebrating their accomplishments.

Episode 5: Competency and the Success Cycle
Competency and the success cycle, as aspects of self-determination, are crucial for helping children habituate attitudes and habits that will equip them to continue to grow and develop throughout their lives.

Episode 6: Creative Problem Solving
The creative problem solving (CPS) process plays a unique role in helping students grow lifelong. Learn the history of CPS, the steps involved, and how parents, educators, and grandparents can model and coach children through this process.

Episode 7: Cumulative Advantage
Learn how an early start toward habituating work habits, attitudes, skills, and knowledge needed for self-determination results in a cumulative advantage as students reach their teen years, equipping them to lead a life of growing and thriving.

We invite you to click here to watch the latest episodes of the H&L Video Series.