Why Waterloo? (Old)

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[/et_pb_image][et_pb_testimonial author=”—Sir Ken Robinson” portrait_url=”data:image/svg+xml;base64,PHN2ZyB3aWR0aD0iNTAwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjUwMCIgdmlld0JveD0iMCAwIDUwMCA1MDAiIHhtbG5zPSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczLm9yZy8yMDAwL3N2ZyI+CiAgICA8ZyBmaWxsPSJub25lIiBmaWxsLXJ1bGU9ImV2ZW5vZGQiPgogICAgICAgIDxwYXRoIGZpbGw9IiNFQkVCRUIiIGQ9Ik0wIDBoNTAwdjUwMEgweiIvPgogICAgICAgIDxyZWN0IGZpbGwtb3BhY2l0eT0iLjEiIGZpbGw9IiMwMDAiIHg9IjY4IiB5PSIzMDUiIHdpZHRoPSIzNjQiIGhlaWdodD0iNTY4IiByeD0iMTgyIi8+CiAgICAgICAgPGNpcmNsZSBmaWxsLW9wYWNpdHk9Ii4xIiBmaWxsPSIjMDAwIiBjeD0iMjQ5IiBjeT0iMTcyIiByPSIxMDAiLz4KICAgIDwvZz4KPC9zdmc+Cg==” portrait_width=”0px” portrait_height=”0px” _builder_version=”3.18.2″]

“We have sold ourselves into a fast-food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.”

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The world has changed a lot since the 19th century, hasn’t it? But the current model of school—bell-driven hourly classes sorted by age and subject and managed by teachers assigning ‘work’—has not changed since its origins in the 19th-century factory system. 

That disconnect has many discordant results:

–We form students to be passive workers and thinkers (think critically when I tell you to, though!).

–We trust ‘the system’ will support healthy emotional and social growth (it doesn’t).

–Students equate learning with performance for a grade, not actually knowing something valuable.

–Real learning requires hours of homework because the schedule is so frenetic.

The truth is, the model has never been the best for developing independent thinkers and problem-solvers—that wasn’t what it was designed to produce. Yet in our careers, we have witnessed and experienced a trend in education—more standardization, more transactional, more busy-work—more like a factory! 

This trend is detrimental to students’ and health and does not help students discover their unique, God-given skills, capacities and potential. It also does not prepare them for the realities of the 21st century economy, because it produces passive ‘workers,’ not citizens and creators.

Waterloo School is designed to help students develop what they need to be grounded, productive adults—capacity for deep work and problem-solving, relational skills, and civic-readiness—learned through hands-on, publicly-presented projects, internships, and community engagement. 

And the name? Before it was the capital of Texas, Austin was ‘Waterloo’, a small pioneer town on the northside of what is now the Congress Street Bridge. In the spirit of a new town that has come to produce world leaders in culture and life, we’re a new school setting out to produce leaders in culture and life for the 21st century, using timeless methods—learning by relationships and experiences. We recognize that like the Waterloo of old, we are a little further out there than many. But we have a vision for what your student can become, and we’ll help him or her get there.

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Go Deeper

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A 10 minute video from a TedTalk given by Sir Ken Robinson that illustrates the need for change

A TedX talk on the future of work—Chuck Blakeman unpacks how the factory model is losing to a more human way

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A podcast on a group of teachers in Philadelphia making learning personal

A podcast on focus, distractions, and identity

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A working paper making the case for deeper learning approaches in Christian education

For a deeper dive into study and work habits that actually work Deep Work by Cal Newport

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What relationships and experiences help teenagers become flourishing, capable adults, and which ones work against that? How can a school increase the first kind and decrease the latter?

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1511 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

512-758-4445

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Waterloo School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national, and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and any other school-administered programs.

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