schools that matter

Schools should be places where students and staff experience well-being. We believe well-being happens in schools when human needs are met, adults understand and model emotional intelligence and the learning environment is social, meaningful and enriched.
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Our History and Vision

Traditional schools are an unnatural for children, full of confined spaces, kids sitting until the bell rings, and a race to the top mentality. Whether as a student, a teacher, principal, or professor, Dr. Van Bockern has spent his professional life thinking about the inner workings of schools, what they do and do not do for our children, teachers, and staff. Through his work and experiences, he developed the Schools That Matter framework.

Using the philosophies of the Circle of Courage, outlined in the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Futures of Promise (Brendtro, Brokenleg, Van Bockern, 2019), Dr. Van Bockern envisions a school that meets the basic needs of the children and adult: Belonging, Mastery, Generosity and Independence. Schools must also acknowledge and create a place of safety and foster a sense of adventure. Dr. Van Bockern outlines this philosophy in his book, Schools That Matter: Teaching the Mind, Reaching the Heart.

Click here to learn how you can transform your school into a School That Matters.



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