Why James & Suzy Cameron’s School Is Revolutionizing The Way We Educate Children

“Inspiring and preparing young people to live consciously with themselves, one another, and the planet.”

This is the mission statement from James Cameron and wife Suzy Cameron’s innovative school, MUSE. The concept behind MUSE came about after Suzy, a global environmental activist, mother of 5, and proud wife, grew tired of watching her older children struggle in the traditional education system, and sought an alternative and more environmentally aware option for her youngest.

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This is when Suzy teamed up with her sister, Rebecca Amis, a past collaborator in child-centered schools, to build a school that fit Suzy’s forward-thinking vision of childhood education.

MUSE launched in 2006 and has since grown to be a remarkable revisualization of the education system, inspiring both parents and children to take an active role in the future and sustainability of our planet.

What Makes MUSE Stand Out From Other Schools?

Passion-Based Learning

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Learning is a process that can feed a child’s desire to learn more. With this in mind, MUSE’s teachers, students, and their parents collaborate to develop curricula based on each child’s own passions. The result of this collaboration is the development of individual learning plans that are authentic, academic, and rooted in real-world experiences that involve community experts, mentors, and groups.

These individual learning plans encourage students to develop in a “direction they love” — while living consciously with themselves, one another, and the planet.

Focus On Sustainability

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Sustainability is a major focus for MUSE. They model sustainability every day through gardening, composting, permaculture, recycling, upcycling, repurposing, and more. As an added bonus, MUSE’s buildings are toxin free.

Furthermore, the surrounding landscape offers ample space for everything from group play and outdoor education to solo exploration and solitary reflection.

When it comes to food, MUSE does it right. Students help grow and prepare the daily organic snacks and lunches. Doing so helps children connect to their food, to see the links between the environment and their health, and to understand the value of staying fit and eating sensibly.

Unique Teacher/Student Relationships

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MUSE believes that teaching is subordinate to learning. In fact, as a lesson or experience unfolds, they often see adults and children naturally and easily swap teacher/student roles, building mutual respect for each other in the process.

MUSE teachers are perceptive communicators and collaborators, adept at interpreting children’s dreams and translating them into stimulating learning experiences.

A Vision To Change The Way We Educate Our Children

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MUSE is striving to transform education on a global scale, moving the learning process towards a larger focus in sustainability. With sister MUSE schools popping up around the world, MUSE is fostering the growth of creative thinkers and problem solvers who are keenly attuned to preserving our planet.

What Education Levels Does MUSE Offer?

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MUSE offers education starting from early childhood development all the way up to high school. On top of that, they offer after school and summer programs.

Elementary curriculum is creative, compelling, and shaped around the students’ own interests. MUSE teachers are highly adept at weaving math, science, and language arts into the group and individual projects that support any given learning plan. They also frequently enlist support in their daily work, accessing a variety of mentors and outside experts to help students see the connections between their own interests, academics, and the real world.

Moving into high school, education becomes more centered around 5 pillars of curriculum, including sustainability, communication, self-efficacy, passion based learning, and traditional academics.

MUSE aims at fostering graduates who become bold leaders fully prepared to face challenges, to live beyond complacency, and to embrace learning and change throughout their lives.

The One Downfall

The concept of MUSE is awe-inspiring in many regards, especially considering the state of education today and the need for more progressive approaches to learning. But there is one thing keeping MUSE from being attainable for most, and that is the cost.

Tuition costs for elementary school to high school come in at around $100, 000 USD, a price tag unreachable for most families. If only we could allocate money currently being spent on preposterous things, such as war, and put it in the right places, such as supporting innovative and sustainable education programs, then perhaps we would see a more ideal global paradigm become a reality.

Nevertheless, MUSE stands as hopeful inspiration for the future of education. If this concept gains momentum, perhaps we will see more funding and more efforts to make this type of education standard and available for all.

What are you thoughts on MUSE’s education concept? Share with us in the comment section below!

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15 comments
  1. Soo sad im not a billionaire cause this sounds like a program that could use a couple hundred million$ But I guess billionaires have other goals like becoming a trillionare rather than advancing society in the right direction. Money is so wasted on the rich

  2. It is such a shame that this school is not more affordable. I have been looking for an alternative education for my son and this seems to be exactly what I want for him and what he needs. He has been home schooled in the past and is currently participating in online public school. He is highly intelligent, but doesn’t learn well with the traditional and the “new” (test prep) teaching methods. His perception and thought process are different, he doesn’t think inside a box. So many times, though his answers are correct, they are considered wrong since his methods of obtaining the correct answer isn’t done “their” way. He is becoming very frustrated, as am I, and he is now hating the education system. I’m afraid he won’t be able to reach his full potential, or worse, just give up, if I don’t find a resolution soon. Wish we could this school!

  3. Where is this school located? No, I have not read the article, wanting a response from someone who has.

  4. I was discussing education with friends the other night as I was a teacher for nearly thirty years and a headteacher for four. In that time I came to the conclusion that formal education as we know it often causes low self esteem in students and felt my job was to create an environment where each student however capable was given the opportunity to grow in much the same way as you provide. I think what you are doing is amazing and inspirational.
    Thank you.

  5. Have always wondered why they don’t use the children’s own creativity to earn money for schools and sports and arts programs. Turn kids creativity loose and they’ll come up with ways to make all the money needed for schools and programs.

  6. MUSE has a 50/50 model and values financial diversity. Half of all MUSE students are on financial aid to make this leading edge education model available to more people.

  7. How much does it cost to have a child educated in the traditional way.Could that money be spent in a more creative way. Children in the current program give little or nothing back.

  8. This is what I always wanted to come across from my childhood day’s, it was a dream which looks to be taking shape
    Its better late than never. Great things happen from small. This is good news for our future generational. I wish I had this education system for my children.

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