I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Springhouse faculty Jenny Finn and Ezekiel Fugate a few years ago when they got involved in the outreach activities my department, the Center For Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), has been conducting in recent years at Radford University. It became evident that the educational values of Springhouse very much aligned with my own, as well as those of the CITL. In fall 2017, I had some conversations with Jenny about the Courageous Conversations class that was happening in spring 2018. She suggested I be a part of it as a co-collaborator and musical presence. It is through that experience that I became better acquainted with the Springhouse family. In addition, I was able to join them for a day on their May 2018 walk from Floyd to Roanoke, during which time I was able to take many steps alongside Springhouse faculty and students as part of a shared journey of movement and togetherness. It was wonderful happenstance that the walk was led by a friend of mine, Jonathan Stalls, from Denver, CO.
Springhouse has been very bold and intentional about their approach to educating students. By focusing on issues such as creativity, active learning, shared experiences and open dialog, Springhouse faculty and contributors do the brave work of honing in on how we really learn, and serve as a living example of the effectiveness of those teaching and learning models compared to traditional lecture and testing. This type of innovative leadership speaks to the kinds of conversations U.S. educators need to be having.