In 1996, Daohe Academy started in Taiwan, where it is regarded as one of the top experimental schools. Its first Mainland China branch will open its doors in September 2018. The school’s curriculum is based around the 24 solar terms of the Lunar Calendar and an adapted mixture of the Six Ancient Arts: Rites/Etiquette (禮), Music (樂), Archery (射), Charioteering (御), Calligraphy (書) Mathematics (數) and the later Four Arts of zither playing, the Game of Go, calligraphy, and painting. Experiential education and the natural world will be the focus of this cosmopolitan school located in one of Guangzhou’s prime neighborhoods. A multi-generational program that serves not only students of age 0-6, but also their parents and grandparents, is the part of our school that we call The Three-Generation Academy.
The Three Generation Academy is a home away from home combining education, culture, arts and crafts into a daily life aesthetic. It provides a spiritual space where all three generations of the family can live, learn, and enjoy the beauty of life together. It also offers a place for the entire family to cultivate themselves, so as to learn how to better care for their own households. At Daohe Academy, filial piety is regarded as the foundation of benevolence and righteousness. Once established, this foundation gives rise to a way of life by which we can experience and confirm the richness and sufficiency to be found in living harmoniously with all life. As Mencius said, “A gentleman first shows affection for his kin, then benevolence toward other people and finally care for all things.” In such a society, things are received in a timely manner and used in an economical fashion, and when all things are in order, interpersonal harmony can be achieved. In such a truthful environment, we honor the elderly as we would our aged parents, and care for children as if they were our own. We establish ourselves and help others to do the same. We achieve expertise, while helping others to excel. We do not do to others what we would not want them to do unto us.
Daohe Academy Kindergarten in Guangzhou cultivates a family atmosphere and is looking for strong professionals, who love being with small children and will treat them as they would their own. We want our students to be knocking at the door to get in and reluctant to leave when the sun goes down. Only the happy student learns well. Our unique philosophy envisions an activity-based education where there is balanced development of mind, body, and spirit. Stress on using the five senses and bodily-kinesthetic learning to experience and do, rather than be told or sit and listen, is central to our daily program. We eschew the focus on memorization, rote activity, and performance that has come to dominate modern education. Or multivariate educational and cultural space and resources expose children and their families to creative industry and imagination, right down to the design of our school as a “village” replete with a garden. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, including art, health, games, music, work, languages, agriculture, and nature. In particular, we stress the ethics of integrity, virtue, and wisdom. Love, nature, and beauty are our core values. Students learn a work ethic, patience, and gratitude by sowing seeds; Daohe has two decades of experience sowing the seeds of mirth and wonder in our youth. Whether making mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival or “zongzi” for Dragon Boat Festival, our students engage in constant celebration of the rhythms of weather, seasons, and culture. At Daohe teaching materials must be realia taken from nature, not bought at the store; we don’t use flash cards. We subscribe to a no tangible rewards system (e.g., no food or stickers, but smiles, hugs, and verbal reinforcement encouraged). Papermaking, natural dyeing, pottery, ceramics, singing, and painting workshops, among much else, will be offered to students, staff, and families.