Jasmine Star Horan on Experimental Early Childhood Education at Esalen

September 18, 2020

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Jasmine Star Horan is the author of “The Gazebo Learning Project: A Legacy of Experiential & Experimental Early Childhood Education at Esalen.” The Gazebo School is a somewhat legendary institution, encapsulated with the Esalen institute, founded in the mid-1970's by Janet Lederman, one of the early outdoor preschools. Jasmine Horan was born at Esalen - she is the daughter of foundational massage teacher Peggy Horan and sister of Lucia Horan, noted 5 Rhythms teacher. Jasmine attended the Gazebo preschool as a child, where she grew up in an environment where the opportunity for free play and free choice was constant. Child-centered learning was encouraged through an exploratory and inquiry-based environment. The Gazebo Park, located on the north side of the Esalen Institute, is an outdoor classroom with very few toys or play structures with prescribed uses, though the park overflows with abundant gardens, animals, plants, trees, a pony shed, a greenhouse, Pottyville, snacks, cubbies, first-aid material and more. During our conversation, Jasmine describes her journey in documenting the cultural legacy of a unique school that has touched so many lives. Go to Silver Peak press.com to buy your copy of “The Gazebo Learning Project: A Legacy of Experiential & Experimental Early Childhood Education at Esalen," and learn the history and pedagogy of this unique school.

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