The Wildwood Institute Model provides a parallel path for learning that resonates with 21st century learning skills and expectations. This path is not based on a curriculum, but instead uses authentic contexts such as a science research lab, a social leadership collaborative, or an incubator.
Participants assume roles, practices, and expectations as they navigate best practices for creating meaning and adding value to the community and to the world. In these multidisciplinary contexts, participants identify existing problems and/or opportunities, assign tasks, set agendas, determine benchmarks, create networks, communicate ideas, and present findings via publications, talks, blogs, social media, etc. Whatever is done in their context, they do.
Based on this model, Wildwood launched the first of three planned Institutes in 2014, the Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development (WISRD). The second was launched in 2018 and has become the Wildwood Institute for Social Leadership (WISL). The third was launched in 2019 and is currently developing its contextual setting around incubator space and entrepreneurship.
The Institutes at Wildwood were initiated through anonymous donations from the Wildwood community, with further support provided by the EE Ford Foundation.