Beyond the Walls Education (BWE) was created with a belief that the bulk of our learning comes from life itself. We also understand the role formal education plays in our overall learning. BWE is dedicated to helping schools and students make the most out of their education. We work in a variety of ways to help all students become contributing citizens and life long learners. Working with schools we help teachers create active and meaningful curriculum that engages students and keeps them at the center of their learning. We also help students create well developed plans that help them reach their education and career goals with a blend of focused formal study and experiential learning. Realizing that the investment in a college education is very expensive, BWE helps develop plans that are tailored to the students goals, therefore minimizing the amount of time spent wandering around from major to major. BWE also helps students explore, and possibly plan out, the idea of a Gap Year and how that may fit into ones overall career goal.
Chris Brown is the founder and primary consultant with Beyond the Walls Education. He also works with a network of highly experienced and respected educators.
As an educator (teacher, administrator and college faculty member) for more than 33 years, Chris has been involved with a wide variety of schools and education initiatives. With a background in history and social studies education, he has taught in public schools (both district and charter), a private high school, the Peace Corps in the Central Pacific Island of Kiribati, and schools in Thailand and Australia. He has been a founding member of three different schools in Minnesota and developed education programs for a non-profit. He received his BS from Bemidji State University, MS Ed. from Sydney University, Sydney Australia, ESL certification from the University of the South Pacific, Suva Fiji and has advanced coursework in International Experiential Education at the University of Minnesota. He is also a Bush Leadership Scholar.
Chris was a faculty member at Augsburg College in the Education Department teaching and advising future teachers. Along with teaching a variety of education courses he also supervised over 100 Student Teachers, advised more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students, and led a variety of experiential learning programs. Throughout his career he has worked with students from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds including immigrant and refugee students.
He has a love for the outdoors and spends time camping, canoeing, hiking, and exploring with his family. He has traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally, and enjoys getting lost in unfamiliar places. This has served him well most of the time. He also enjoys listening to and exploring a wide variety of music with an emphasis on Americana and folk. This is perhaps due to his long love of Bob Dylan's music. He is also frequently seen with a camera around his neck.
The following is his Educational Philosophy:
I believe in a progressive education philosophy and am influenced by educators and scholars such as John Dewey, Socrates, Deborah Meier, Aldo Leopold, David Kolb, and Alfie Kohn. All students should be treated as assets who contribute to the learning community. Education should serve as a means to pique student curiosity and they should be given opportunities to explore and learn in real world situations. As an educator who has worked with aspiring teachers in higher education, my goal has always been to instill in my students the idea that learning is fun, lifelong and largely occurs outside of the classroom, textbooks and worksheets.