the curriculum

The Curriculum of the Axe Handles Academy integrates the current hodgepodge of subjects, disciplines and skills into three components, one focused on bioregional studies, one on comparative culture, and one on communication.

Bioregional Studies, the life of the land

We believe that it is equally important for the professional academic researcher and the manager of the local hardware store to understand the effects of his or her work on the bioregions of the earth. The present practice of tracking students into academic and vocational programs is not recognized by the Axe Handle Academy.   To be informed citizens each must be able to understand and to evaluate the impact resource and other development decisions will have on the earth in his or her bioregion.  They must be able to weigh those impacts against social and economic impacts.  In other words, whatever our work in life may be we all must have a home to which we are committed and we need to know how to think about human activities and decisions in terms of their impacts on our homes.

Comparative Cultural Studies

Whether one's career in life is as a widely traveled account executive or as a worker in a local sawmill, each of us is a member of a culture.  Nowadays many of us are on the boundaries between cultures.  A solid sense of identity is essential for a healthy adult life as well as for productive contribution to the society.  The study of culture cannot be restricted to a privileged group of academic track students.

Communication  Studies, responsive communication

Whatever one's place in life, communication is at the heart of nearly all of our activities.  Whether one is a negotiator in international business or a commercial fisherman, his or her goals will only be achieved with others through effective communication skills.  In addition, our society is founded on the informed, educated decisions of our voting citizens.  We all must be able to read, listen, and view the positions of others and to evaluate the information we are receiving from a constant barrage of print, spoken, visual, and electronic media.


the academy

the curriculum


life of the land

comparative culture studies

responsive communication