Our Approach

At Summerwood, we take a progressive approach to education with emphasis on experiential learning through student-led inquiry. Our students construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. To facilitate these experiences and moments of reflection we engage our students through emergent curriculum, Socratic circle time, inquiry-based learning, individualized projects, and cooperative learning experiences. We ask our students what they already know about a topic and what puzzles them, digging deeper and deeper into big ideas. As our students pursue questions, they derive new and more complex questions to be investigated. In doing so, our students’ inquiries and projects are often interdisciplinary, affording multiple opportunities to engage in Math, English, Science, Social Sciences, Art, Movement, etc. within one line of inquiry or project. Throughout this organic, student-centered process, our teachers act as expert learners, guiding students to adopt cognitive strategies such as asking probing questions, articulating understanding, and practicing reflection. Summerwood understands the educational potential as well as the potentially problematic aspects of technology in the classroom. Our response to this modern teaching conundrum is to responsibly employ technology in appropriate ways to aid our students' inquiry and exploration.


For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.
— Plutarch, "On Listening"