Thank you for your interest in Gazebo School Park. Gazebo has remained closed since February 2017 when road closures prompted the temporary closure of Esalen Institute. For more information on Gazebo's current status, please email email@example.com.
Gazebo School Park is a state-licensed, nature-based early childhood program located on an acre of gardens, meadows, and orchards at Esalen.
Founded in 1977 by teacher and former Esalen Director Janet Lederman, the vision behind Gazebo was an experience “designed with the educational goal of maximizing the full use of the child's growing body, unfolding intelligence, and soaring imagination.” She believed that by maximizing each child's unique learning style and pace, and using the environment with its demands and differences as major tools, “the child learns in his/her earliest years: self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-discipline in the most basic form.”
A play and inquiry-based curriculum promotes inner-directed learning and fosters a healthy sense of self. We hold a holistic view of the child, honoring the individual's learning and growth in relationship to self, to others, and to the environment. Gestalt Practice is used as a foundational practice among children, staff, and interns. It is used to develop children's emotional awareness and vocabulary, allowing for self-expression, and to help in conflict resolution. Gazebo teachers facilitate processes with children through coaching and supporting healthy dialogue, and through their own self-evaluation and skillful communication as a team.
Our eco-conscious/sustainable model of land stewardship is also reflected in our cob structures such as the cob zebo, the lizard bench, a rain harvester roof, compostable outdoor toilets and gray water drainage.