Wildwood School Member Profile
Wildwood School, a K-12 independent school in Los Angeles, California is committed to be a leader in professional development for public, private and charter school teachers. Across the country and the world, the Wildwood Outreach Center works with teachers to improve advisory programs, help structure new schools and build personalized leaning communities. At home in Los Angeles, their focus is on sharing the benefits of the systems thinking approach to education.
Systems thinking is an approach to learning that encourages children to see how things (systems) influence one another within a whole. This approach allows children to explore all of the systems, human and natural, that connect us and to develop a unique approach to problem solving. This is the basis of the elementary school curriculum at Wildwood School.
Initially, Wildwood embarked on a three-year partnership with Palms Elementary School, a PK-5 elementary school in the LA Unified School District (LAUSD), to share and enhance the use of systems thinking in both schools. Led by Dr. Barbara Moreno, an independent educational consultant with decades of experience as a classroom teacher at LA’s Open Magnet Charter School, teachers from both schools work together learning how to apply systems thinking to their classroom as well as how to strengthen their practice. Teachers visit one another at their respective schools, observe the systems thinking approach in practice and participate in joint professional development regarding the approach. This work is funded by two anonymous family foundations.
The success of this partnership as shown by the transformation of the teachers and the learning in their classrooms has led Wildwood School and LAUSD to extend their relationship and to create a five day Systems Thinking Summer Institute. Intended to support public, private and charter teachers alike, the institute will allow more teachers in the LA area to learn about systems thinking and to apply the approach to their classroom. The Institute is scheduled to open in summer 2017.