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A leader in progressive education since 1975.

"It's not so much what Kino has taught me, but what it has allowed me to learn."
-- Angelina Lucento, Kino 2001.

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Convictions and assumptions concerning learning and schooling

The philosophy modeled at Kino is less an approach or method than a set of shared convictions about the nature of childhood, adolescence, learning, and schooling. The following convictions are held in common by the students, parents, and teachers at Kino:

  • Students are curious, fascinated with the world, eager to try new things and make sense of their life experiences.
  • Students are thinking individuals, able to understand and discern; they are capable of accepting responsibility and eager to make decisions for themselves.
  • Students are the principal agents of their own education and mental development. Learning is something students make happen to and for themselves.
  • Students are unique and can learn best while following their interests at their own pace.
  • Students will choose to learn a great deal for and by themselves through interaction with others.

    The following assumptions concerning learning and schooling give the foundation for the educational program developed at Kino School.

    Assumptions Concerning Learning

  • Students are innately curious and will often explore without teacher intervention.
    The heart of the Kino philosophy reflects these beliefs about human nature: kids are essentially good and rational, and if they are raised with respect and trust, in a caring environment that allows them the freedom and responsibility all people need, they will grow into fine adults.
  • Confidence in self is closely related to one's capacity for learning and making important choices affecting one's learning.
  • Students learn and develop intellectually at their own rates and in their own styles.
  • Mistakes or errors are a necessary part of learning. They are to be expected and even desired, for mistakes contain information essential for further learning.
  • Concept formation and understanding proceed slowly and incrementally. Deep understanding of basic ideas in the various subject domains is preferable to a "trivial pursuit" type exposure to a myriad of facts.
  • Those qualities of a person's learning that can be carefully measured are not necessarily the most important. Activities that support interaction among students are encouraged, even if the results of the interactions are difficult to measure.

    Assumptions Concerning Schooling

  • Active exploration in a rich environment that offers a wide array of manipulative materials facilitates student learning.
  • When two or more students are interested in exploring the same problem or the same materials, they will often choose to collaborate in some way.
  • Direct experience with objects, ideas, and processes should precede verbal and written abstraction about them.
  • Learning is best assessed through teacher observation of a student's use of knowledge in new situations.
  • The best way to evaluate the effect of the school experience on the student is to observe him or her in this environment over a long period of time.
  • The best measure of a student's work is the student's work.
  • Knowledge is a function of one's personal integration of experience and therefore does not fall neatly into separate categories or disciplines.
  • A school's structure and atmosphere teach students significant lessons about the world.
  • Learning is best assessed by teacher and student over time and in relation to the student's actual work.
  • There is no minimum body of knowledge that is essential for everyone to know.


    Mission Statement

    Kino School is dedicated to kindling the fires of individual minds and bringing students, teachers, and parents together into a harmonious community.

    Kino graduates:
    are self-directed;
    are able to clearly evaluate their work, values, and the choices before them;
    relate well to others;
    add to the betterment of humanity;
    are able to express themselves clearly in speech and writing;
    are excited about learning;
    know how to think critically and creatively;
    know how to learn;
    feel empowered to make changes in their lives and in the world

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    KINO SCHOOL, a nonprofit, independent progressive school
    6625 N. First Ave. / Tucson, Arizona, 85718 / (520) 297-7278 / E-mail us, click here / Request a brochure