Golestan Kids is a private, Persian language immersion pre-k school with 80 students, class sizes of 7-10, each with 2 teachers, located in Berkeley, CA. They support the development of curious, innovative, and compassionate children through experiential and reflective learning, with a focus on heritage language immersion and cultural education.
About 80% of their teaching materials are Montessori based. Their homey aesthetics, affinity for all that is natural and not branded, and emphasis on natural rhythms, imaginative play, and storytelling are directly borrowed from Waldorf philosophies; while their emergent curriculum driven by the students’ personal interests is influenced by Reggio teaching principles. They have a monthly theme that provides a profound understanding of the world around us with appreciation for people and planet. The content does an especially good job of conveying the interconnectedness of the world and of their place in it, with the express purpose of having young children understand themselves as just one small piece of a much larger whole. They strongly value empathy, innovation, nature, kindness, creativity, diligence, curiosity, and responsibility. They work to nourish well-rounded ‘whole’ human beings, global citizens – mindful living – in a warm, encouraging environment that treats the students with the same respect as any adult.
Golestan Education carries out its mission through Golestan Kids (the school) and the Golestan Collaborative (The Colab). The Colab was developed with the express purpose of sharing best practices both on immersion language schools and on curriculum that fosters creative, altruistic children. The Colab is not just a static website or dropbox of curriculum materials either – in fact, about half of the operation of the school is dedicated to the Colab and to providing pro-bono support to other educators worldwide. Already it has consulted with 60 different communities from across the U.S. and internationally in places like Nepal, India, Iran and Kenya. Today there are 15+ Persian immersion schools and others across languages and countries are learning from their Colab.