Calgary Board of Education

Circle of Courage
Learning for the Future (PDF)

North Haven staff and students are excited to be starting an initiative new to our school called the Circle of Courage. It provides us an umbrella under which we can explore many of the character-building needs of our learning community.  The premise behind this initiative is to encourage a common language within our school when it comes to responsibility, respect and expectations amongst the students and staff. The model is portrayed on the Native American medicine wheel – a sacred symbol representing wholeness of life. The circle is a sacred symbol of life…individual parts within the circle connect with every other; and what happens to one or what one part does, affects all within the circle. The colors of each circle piece represent the different races and their equality. 

The Circle of Courage is based on four pillars: belonging, generosity, independence and mastery. The number four has sacred meaning for natives who see the individual standing in the center of the circle surrounded by the four directions

The authors of The Circle of Courage, Dr. Martin Brokenleg, Larry K. Brendtro and Steve Van Bocken define the four pillars in the following ways:

The Spirit of Belonging: The universal longing for human bonds is nurtured by relationships of trust so that the child can say, “I am loved.”

The Spirit of Mastery:  The child’s inborn thirst for learning is nurtured; learning to cope with world, the child can say, “I can succeed.”

The Spirit of Independence:  The child’s free will is nurtured by increased responsibility so that the child can say, “I have power to make decisions.”

The Spirit of Generosity:  The child’s character is nurtured by concern for others so that the child can say, “I have a purpose for my life.”

As the school community at North Haven  continues to grow, the circle of courage will continue to grow with it. As individual students demonstrate success in achieving each pillar so too will the success be noted in each classroom and the school as a whole.