About Opal School Online

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Continuing to Provoking Fresh Ideas…

Opal School’s online learning platform learning.opalschool.org no longer exists now that Opal School has closed.  Most of what was there has been moved and redirected to Opal School Online.  This site will be preserved as is. The plan is to keep the school’s archive of stories, images, theories, and dialogues from the past twenty years alive by creating an online interactive archive supported by our longtime colleagues at Teaching Preschool Partners. TPP was established by Opal School’s founding director, Judy Graves, and we’re excited that our friends at TPP will take good care of this rich collection of research and documentation.  We hope that it can continue to be a valuable resource for learning – and an inspiration for many!

Opal School was a beginning school (for children age 3-5) and public elementary charter school in Portland, Oregon. Opal School was a tiny school with a big mission: to strengthen educational opportunities by provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where creativity, curiosity, and the wonder of learning thrive. Participants in Opal School’s workshops told us that they’re inspired by the connections they’re making – and that they’d like an ongoing platform through which to deepen their investigations. The Opal Interactive Archive Project is intended to preserve the energy for learning that Opal School inspired in its visitors and to provide access to the wealth of documentation created over 20 years to educators who are seeking new possibilities in their work.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

“It’s like there’s two doors and they both lead to hallways and one has treasure in it and that’s good for you and only you.  The other hallway has people who are stuck in it and they can’t get out but if you let them out they’ll be free.  But you can only open one door. So the empathic decision would be to find a 3rd door.” Paul, age 8

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”15436″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Why a third door?

Schools today face an unending list of false choices.  Standardization or autonomy?  Rigor or free play? Reading scores or recess?  Opal School and those engaged in playful inquiry welcome and strive for a richer vision of high quality educational experiences for children and adults. The goal of the Opal Interactive Archive will be to continue to offer ways to explore vital themes:

  • How can schools support empathy and agency?
  • What is the relationship between literacy and the arts?
  • How might a pedagogy of playful inquiry draw on children’s natural learning strategies?
  • What is the difference between being in charge and being in control?
  • How can we better understand the habits of heart and mind that inspire young learners?
  • How can the tools of the arts create conditions where children develop complex ideas?
  • What happens when we hold a strong image of all children?

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”46″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]A Learning Community

The Opal Interactive Archive Project will strive to preserve old and never seen before rich documentation from Opal School classrooms featured on Teaching Preschool Partners website. Contributing authors and curators are both former Opal School and Teaching Preschool Partners authors as well we eventually hope to have other innovative practitioners sharing their reflections on the intersection between their deepest beliefs and what they’re doing with children.  Your ideas and questions are springboards for deeper learning for all members.  Your suggestions for ease of accessing this collection of documentation and donations support the staff  from TPP (many former Opal School educators) to keep this site alive and allows us to continue preserving these resources. Please reach out to us at [email protected] for more information.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]