Joyful Learning in Madison, Wisconsin Since 1972

Our Philosophy

Progressive education is about creating an environment in which children's strengths and unique ways of learning are supported. We teach children to be in charge of their learning—to be thinkers, challengers, and wonderers.

We don't teach for the test. We teach to learn. We teach understanding the concepts behind the facts. At Wingra, asking, "How did you get the answer?" is just as important as the answer itself.

We Respect Childhood

We firmly believe that childhood is a valid time in and of itself. It's not just preparation for adulthood and something to hurry through. The more children can be children, the more likely they will be themselves as adults and able to contribute their full potential to the world.

When children are engaged with relevant activities at a level that's developmentally appropriate – that's when the most learning occurs. We engage children from their point of view.

"People learn most when their emotions are engaged. The way to get kids emotionally engaged is to teach relevance: how does this connect with their life, their world, their community, their favorite things?"
—Lisa Kass, Wingra teacher

Learning Is Joyful At Wingra

Wingra School is a happy learning environment. Spending time here, you can feel it in the hallways, in the classrooms, on the playground. Children love coming to school here. They come prepared to learn, to think and be engaged in their learning.

We Teach Lifelong Learning Skills

Wingra graduates are eager, lifelong learners who don't view school as drudgery. Students leave Wingra with a model of learning in their heads. If they don't know something, they know where to go to learn it. They know how to advocate for themselves. They're prepared in many ways for life's challenges – academically, socially, and ethically.

We're Creating the Future

We're planting seeds of social change because of how we teach. We teach tolerance, conflict resolution, appreciation for different points of view, self advocacy, negotiation, and listening.

We're creating future thinkers of the world. Our students are people who will influence the world in their own unique ways. We believe that the world's challenges can be solved with openness, inspiration, innovation, invention, and entrepreneurialism – with people operating from their authentic cores.

"Children graduate from Wingra with their creative energies intact. It's those energies that will change the world."
—Amy Gilliland, parent of 3 Wingra graduates.