Enlarging the future is the purpose of the Axe
In the Axe Handle Academy we emphasize preparation
of our students for a future that we cannot know by giving them a
solid understanding of their place on the earth, their place and
identity in society, and the ability to listen, observe, reflect and
then communicate effectively with others.
Nearly everyone would say that the purpose of
education is to prepare students for the world they will enter upon
graduation. We all want students to have the knowledge and
skills they will need to be mature, competent adults who have a range
of options in employment or careers and who will be responsible,
productive citizens. Over the years, however, we have slowly
drifted from preparation to planning.
Planning is our most frequent defense against the
unknown future. It gives us a sense of security and a sense that
we are doing the best we can to be ready for what comes.
Unfortunately, planning is really a way of limiting our imagination of
the future. A plan limits our responses to predicted
outcomes. With a plan we seek to control outcomes, to eliminate
change, to eliminate the random and the wild. Our plans for the
future dictate our current choices. A plan exercises an abstract
power on the present by limiting our imagination of the options to
those considered by our plan.
Preparing is different. In preparing we always
expect diversity of outcomes. In preparing we assume we do not
know or cannot predict what future conditions will be. In
preparing we enlarge the future in our own imagination.
Both in planning and in preparing we look to the
future, but in planning we seek to restrict the future, in preparing
we seek to make ourselves ready. In planning we express our
belief in our reason and our ability to control outcomes, people,
technology. In preparing we express out belief in our
adaptability, our responsiveness. our willingness to accept what