“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
Central to the I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D. approach, self-mastery is the key to self-actualization, well-being, wisdom and sustainability of self, which in turn leads to the creation of a sustainable future for the world. In order to guide our learners along this path, we inspire a growth mindset, foster willpower and grit, and encourage positive relationships with others, so that our learners can nurture a love of lifelong learning and a desire to become the person they were meant to be.
Self-mastery is a lifelong process. By starting this journey with WonderTree, children are better equipped to become the designers of their own lives by mastering their mind, body, heart and spirit.
At WonderTree, we are driven by the idea that we need to start with ourselves to make the world a better place. We ask ourselves:
How do children develop a sense of self and understand themselves in order to master their own lives?
By discovering a sense of community (belonging), children can fully understand who they are (being), and take confident steps toward the future they envision for themselves and the world (becoming). This self-actualization shapes the way they perceive and interact with the world.
Willpower and Grit
We are all born with an innate willpower. We all successfully learn to walk because we have the willpower to stand up after failing hundreds of times. It is from our willpower that we draw the courage, focus and energy needed to progress in all areas of our lives.
Grit, on the other hand, helps us with our perseverance, resilience and passion to continue along the path towards reaching our goals. Willpower gets us on the path, while grit helps us finish our tasks.
Through willpower and grit, we can overcome challenges and children learn the phrase: “I can.”
Possessing a growth mindset means viewing challenges as opportunities to grow - stepping-stones to our future success. It requires learners to consider proactive solutions when faced with hurdles, rather than becoming defeated.
Since the only person we are ever truly competing with in life is ourselves, with a growth mindset we can be inspired by, and learn from, others' success. Children are motivated by the success of others and use self-reflection to constantly seek ways to be better.
“Love is the only emotion that expands intelligence” Humberto Maturana
Relationships are a fundamental part of self-mastery. We learn how to have successful relationships with ourselves, people, nature and the sensory environment as a whole through the many interactions we are exposed to in our daily lives.
Healthy relationships are based on love, connection, trust and intimacy. These lead to a child's sense of belonging, being and becoming as they feel secure enough to create their own understanding of their sensory experiences and embrace them as their own learning. Children acquire a feeling of self-worth as a result of their interactions with others who are important to them, such as parents and educators. When children learn to know and accept their uniqueness, they begin to see how they have a purpose that will connect them to the web of humanity.
Self – actualisation
Self-actualisation, or a strong sense of self, is embodied by how the child reflects on their thoughts, feelings, learning and behaviours. It is important for learners to be able to both identify and think about their own ideas within a safe environment. This metacognition empowers children to regulate their emotions and reflect on their own and others’ learning and behaviours. This level of awareness leads to self-respect, respect for others, respect for the situation and respect for the environment.
For WonderTree, developing wisdom is a way of life. Using the guiding virtues of the Three Rs: Responsibility, Respect, and Resourcefulness, individuals are inspired to intentionally focus on internal mind shifts that are the source of behavior.
They flourish and support others in their relationships (belonging), transforming how they see themselves (being) and the people they want to be (becoming).
The alignment of mindsets, beliefs, and assumptions requires the community of co-learners to maintain a growth mindset for personal change. Through an implicit curriculum of belonging, being and becoming, the school culture, learners, educators, and parents are transformed into self-assured, responsible, and compassionate people who act for the good of the whole community.
The ultimate goal is a culture shift within the larger WonderTree community-- where parents and caregivers are inspired to demonstrate the same positive behaviors and ways as their children in their relationships with their children, the wider community and the global environment. This “way of being” models the character habits we invite our lifelong learners to attain and maintain.
WonderTree understands that in order to achieve Self-Mastery, a learner needs to acquire a high sense of well-being. This is achieved through the fulfillment of our relationship and respect needs-- when people feel that they belong, are respected for being themselves and what they aspire to become, they have a greater feeling of well-being.
Well-being is embodied by the meeting of our social-emotional, spiritual, aesthetic, environmental, cognitive, physical and global awareness needs
as children naturally, and accurately, communicate their needs when suffering discomfort, for example when they feel lonely, frustrated or hungry. Often these signs of distress, the opposite of well-being, lead to the first forms of communication between a parent and child, and even educator and learner.
At WonderTree, children are encouraged to reflect upon their thoughts and emotions, which lead to their physical well-being, social behavior and cognitive development. They are invited to control their own thoughts to create positive mindsets and emotions, and in this way achieve self-actualization, as a step towards self-mastery.