The Wisdom Project at Communitas is designed to respond to several important, unanswered needs in the lives of high school students. Students are hungry for real-world experience, for issues that have direct meaning in their own lives, and for skills in managing the many stresses and emotional struggles they face on a daily basis.
This broad, experiential program is designed to help students understand different worldviews and begin to articulate their own. This wisdom-centered learning is based on a relationship with the world; it is born from what people experience, what they know, and what they do.
Students at Communitas will learn secular meditative exercises designed to awaken greater concentration, attentiveness, sensory awareness, emotional intelligence, self-control, and peace of mind.
In essence, mindfulness is about paying attention to the present as it happens, reducing focus on the past or future. Over 80 schools in the U.S. have begun to incorporate meditation-type exercises into their educational curriculum in order to improve students' attention, self-regulation and emotional well being.
Fortunately for students in the Bay Area, they do not need to travel outside their own county to have a wide variety of encounters other cultures. The student body itself will become a rich source of opportunities to learn about difference.
Students at Communitas will complete the Personal Creed Project, a powerful educational experience designed by John Creger, that leads students through a process in which they
Student reflections on past Personal Creed Project experiences describe the bridging of cultural and individual divides, and the transformation of the classroom atmosphere to one of respect, risk-taking, an increased level of trust, and a sense of relief for students at the reality of being able to open up and be themselves.
Service-learning is a teaching methodology that connects academic instruction with service activities and critical reflective thinking to address real issues in the community. It asks students to think critically about how academic study can be applied to real problems in broader social, political, economic, and environmental contexts.
Effective service learning is a reciprocal process benefiting or changing the perspectives of both student service providers and service recipients (the community). Research shows that high-quality community-based service learning provides the following benefits to students:
Education at Communitas provides the opportunity to develop a healthy and balanced approach to life. Students learn skills related to healthy human development, in areas such as
An internship will be an important component of a student’s junior year at Communitas. Under the guidance of a mentor from the community, and using the Learning Through Internship (LTI) curriculum developed by Big Picture Learning (and implemented at schools like MetWest in Oakland), the student will develop and complete a meaningful project that benefits both the student and the mentor’s organization. The internship will provide an opportunity to:
The goal of studying wisdom traditions is to help each student understand the continuity of the human experience in the face of mystery. Students will gain awareness of how some ancient traditions have addressed the basic existential questions of life:
The Senior Seminar provides a culminating in-depth experience for students in their final year. Following a model like the "Walkabout" proposed by Maurice Gibbons, it involves a year-long integrative research and performance project in a particular area identified by the student. Academic research is woven into a real-life personal challenge, no longer mere practice. These experiences act simultaneously as a rite of passage and a demonstration of mastery.