Our Mission

To provide students with a balanced education of the body, feelings, will, and intellect in preparation for using life’s diverse challenges to discover ever-deeper levels of purpose, meaning, and happiness.

Our Vision

To support teachers, parents, schools, and others who nurture the comprehensive and profound types of growth that are addressed by the Education for Life principles.

Education for Life Associates

Michael Nitai Deranja

Nitai is the co-founder, with J. Donald Walters, of Education for Life (EFL) International. In 1972 he started the first EFL elementary school and in 1997 co-founded the first EFL high school. He is the author of two books: For Goodness’ Sake: Supporting Children & Teens in Discovering Life’s Higher Values and The Art of Joyful Education. Nitai has two wonderful adult children, both of whom attended Education for Life schools.

Susan Usha Dermond

Founder of the Portland EFL school. She is the author of “Calm and Compassionate Children“, Co-author, A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum,  Eloquence in Silence, and created the online Education for Life teacher training courses. She has Masters degrees in Education and Library Science.

Karen Bharati Busch

Bharati was the first teacher at Portland Education for Life School She had experience in typical and special education, preschool through high school, in rural and urban settings. At the Portland school she taught  K-3rd for fifteen years. She now assists in the office, provides one-on-one instruction, and assists with on-line teacher training.

Irene Sanchez Schulman

Irene  graduated from Sacramento State University with a BS in Marketing. She was trained in the Education for Life System in 1997. She has worked with children of  all ages, including toddlers, as well as with college students. Her primary focus was teenagers. She is the co-founder of the first EFL high school, and served as co-director there. Presently she offers online EFL teacher training courses for English and Spanish speakers.

Our Schools

Portland, Oregon, USA

The goal of education is the same as the goal of life: to help children become, on every level—heart, mind, body, and spirit – more balanced, mature, effective, harmonious, and happy. Underlying all of our academic efforts is the understanding that relaxed, joyful children make the best learners.

Palo Alto, CA, USA

Parents seeking the best school for their child generally give first priority to academic excellence. At the same time, they value a school where the children enjoy learning. Too often, these goals appear to be in conflict. But at Living Wisdom School, academic excellence and joy go hand in hand.

Nevada City, CA, USA

Our unique programs, based on Education for Life Philosophy, are carefully designed to meet each individual’s need, to prepare students for life’s inner and outer challenges and to encourage a rich, lifelong journey of adventure and self-discovery.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Otroke učimo umetnosti življenja in sodelovanja, vzporedno pa jim predajamo tudi znanja iz tradicionalnih predmetov.

Seattle, Washington, USA

Education for Life emphasizes subjects of daily, practical value, such as…

  • How to live in harmony.
  • How to communicate ideas with clarity.
  • How to achieve mutually satisfying relationships.
  • How to perceive social responsibility.
  • How to remain centered through life.
  • How to live happy and joy-filled lives

Assisi, Italy

La Living Wisdom School Assisi segue la bellissima pedagogia di Educare alla vita; essa si fonda su un approccio olistico all’educazione, che sostiene lo sviluppo personale del bambino in tutti i suoi aspetti: corpo, sentimenti, intelletto, volontà e spirito.

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