“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
–A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Stagnation and inertia are the enemies of innovation and progress. These are harsh realities that society wrestles with daily. We seize the familiar because it is safe, and because our anxiety and fear of the unknown is paralyzing. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t room for tradition — far from it. But I am suggesting that the fearless pursuit of non-traditional approaches for solving contemporary societal challenges is vital in order to avoid atrophy — especially when it comes to our education system.
What does stagnation buy you: The best of times and the worst of times. It’s made MUSE Schools necessary and possible. However, within public education, stagnation has often made things worse, which is why the US now ranks 24th in the world for literacy and 17th in overall educational performance.
Stagnation also serves as a catalyst for Innovation from the Edge: MUSE Global Schools
With 12 years of operations, insights, and validated success in our fully accredited model, MUSE Global Schools are designed to be both economically sustainable and supportive of attractive investor returns.
The education system is steeped in tradition, but the viability of an education that is impressed through dated learning methods is questionable within the context of a world evolving at warp speed. Every school system claims they innovate, but once you look under the surface you find pervasive and creeping incrementalism. The unfortunate reality is that too many students are falling behind and are not learning the concepts and skills required to flourish in an increasingly competitive and connected world. But MUSE Global Schools is bringing a disruptive approach to education that is already helping transform the landscape of education.
Kant You See It?
Before diving more deeply into the topic, we’re going to get a little bit philosophical and theoretical for a moment. I subscribe to the thesis of edge theory and pattern recognition. This philosophy contends that the most dynamic systems, known as edge systems, materialize under non-restrictive and non-bureaucratic conditions. Edge systems are omnipresent in nature (e.g., coral reefs; rainforest canopies), but the term is also applied in other contexts (e.g., business; education; healthcare). Essentially, edge systems are platforms for innovation, regardless of setting — a description that perfectly depicts the MUSE education model.
The Origin Story
MUSE Global is now open to franchise partners worldwide. MUSE was founded in Calabasas, California in 2006 by James and Suzy Amis Cameron along with Suzy’s sister, Rebecca Amis, who has decades of experience in education administration. The trio started MUSE behind a clear, eco-friendly mission: “Inspiring and Preparing Young People to Live Consciously with Themselves, One Another, and the Planet.”
MUSE schools are fully accredited, and the Early Childhood Education (ECE) model is available for franchise. But perhaps most importantly — since MUSE schools do not operate under the weight of a complicated bureaucratic machine — they are uniquely positioned to leverage the latest in innovative learning techniques. This flexibility allows for MUSE students to flourish in a dynamic learning environment that is not disconnected from the practical challenges and realities they’ll face outside the classroom walls.
Connecting Learning with Action
For MUSE students, the lessons in the classroom are just the starting point for educational journeys that culminate in meaningful actions. A variety of specialized classes, like Maker Space, encourage students to understand the challenges facing their school, community and world, while collaborating on creative solutions. Students use STEM principles, recycled materials, and their imaginations to develop ideas and projects they are proud to own and eager to bring forth into the world to enact positive change.
And for older MUSE students, a Human Rights course critically examines a range of topics pertaining to global human rights. Students learn about the challenges faced by marginalized individuals worldwide, and create action plans to engender change on both micro and macro levels. These plans are then brought to life in real-world settings (e.g., assembling and distributing care packages to the homeless in Venice Beach) — impactful solutions innovated by MUSE students.
Passion Informs Innovation
Further establishing MUSE School as a setting that inspires innovation is their Passion Based Learning model. Teachers’ observations, combined with student input, create the basis for this unique approach to curriculum — it is the children’s ideas and passions that guide individual and classroom projects. MUSE School’s goal is to discover and deeply understand each child, including what they love and how they learn best. It’s a model — an edge system, if you will — that demonstrates how collaboration and empowerment in the classroom result in students who are innovative and independent thinkers, ready to change the world.
The Time for Impact
Innovate or become irrelevant is the reality of today. And with too many school systems relying on antiquated approaches to learning, pedagogical irrelevance is becoming an increasingly significant concern for stakeholders in the education industry. James and Suzy Amis Cameron saw what was happening (and more importantly, not happening) in the education landscape during their own children’s schooling, and felt inspired to make a difference. That difference is MUSE.
What James and Suzy Amis Cameron have consistently demonstrated is the creative confidence to successfully explore and implement change for the betterment of humanity and the planet. As innovators, they are married to the problem, not any single solution.
Today, James and Suzy are proud to offer the innovative MUSE school Early Childhood Education (ECE) model as a franchise option for impact investors who see value in the power of transformative education. Charles Dickens would strongly approve.
Author Bio: Barry Didato is Senior Advisor to the James and Suzy Cameron Family Office, specifically for the global expansion of their platform businesses, which are fundamentally changing the way people approach education, nutrition, wellness, and sustainability. Barry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org