Springhouse: One Light in the Dark
This school did the near impossible; started a tuition-based school in rural Appalachia in one of the poorest counties in Virginia. Not only did this learning community sustain over nearly seven years, it is thriving. Springhouse now has a permanent location on an 11-acre farm and in the fall of 2021 is moving to a regenerative funding model where money or tuition is not at the center. Given the lackluster state of education, that alone is evidence that exploration of this vitality-centered educational design should continue and that it should be shared with others.
A few things we have learned at Springhouse:
- When the design itself orients around vitality, so do the learners. This begins with adults and is fostered by the youth.
- The more steeped we are in vitality, personally and collectively, the healthier our community is.
- The longer a Springhouse learner participates in this vitality-centered design, the more they embody the learning community’s values after leaving school.
Springhouse is an example of vitality-centered design and is the site for Sourced Design Labs.