The Nursery

Nursery Picture


Ann Guthrie is the teacher of the Nursery's inquisitive and active 3 1/2- to 5-year-olds. Ann's philosophy is that children are innately curious and that by providing a rich environment that supports self-direction and a sense of wonder, children will learn, grow and develop: They are intrinsically competent learners who want to take on challenge and to master their worlds.

Another foundational belief is that young children learn how to get along with one another, to know themselves and to learn about the world around them through play and playfulness. Their play is seen to be on a continuum from the quite silly to the quite serious. It is understood that they sense the differences and gain from it all. 

The Nursery supports the belief that children learn in different ways and develop at different rates. In all things there is a developmental timescale for children that is respected. A great deal of patience, support and repetition are provided. 

Students in the Nursery have a regularly scheduled time each week for Art & Science class. They also take part in school-wide events and celebrations.




Nursery Newsletter

  • "The Sound of Construction and Progress"
    Written by

    This is a letter of appreciation to Nursery parents. Heartfelt thanks go out to each of you for having your child join the Nursery this year. They have each brought an absolutely unique self to the work and play of what they’ve done this year. I have loved watching them discover who they are and who they can be.

    I’ve watched them taking it all in as individuals. I’ve watched them flocking up into the safety of taking it in all together… especially during those first few months of getting-to-know-you. I’ve watched them expand into the experience of checking out being with this person and that person… one-on-one and with smaller groups in the Nursery. I've watched them begin to move beyond Nursery and into all those other people and groups around them at the Antioch School!

    Along the way there were problems to solve, conflicts to resolve, sometimes courage to find in order to really say, “Stop,” or to really hear, “Stop,” … to really talk and to really listen with one another. This work is universal and very human. Being developmental, it is ongoing and it builds on what has come before. Children need this experience along with the scaffolding, tools, support and skilled guidance to find their own voice and way toward solutions. What drives them in the social realm is similar to what drives them in the physical realm, or any realm really... challenge and mastery... the feeling of I-can-do.

    And of course the idea is for them to learn to do it on their own! This is a process. It is over time. The opportunity to experience and practice is key. It can sometimes be ongoing and challenging work for children and the adults who care for them, but problems to solve and conflicts to resolve really are a vital grist for their mill. It's all so necessary to becoming practiced and skilled in the doing.

    Being individuals with their own individual temperaments, personalities, and experience meant that the nuance of their own work... what they needed, and needed to work on... was unique and very much their very own. Athena and I were there to provide the scaffolding, tools, support and guidance; they were there to make themselves part of this important and necessary process.

    These are children who have a lot of social drive! So of course, the ultimate carrot for them... the real reason to take on the hard part of the doing of it… is to help smooth the path and make yourself part of something bigger than yourself. Their motivation is to be together with a friend or friends and to have FUN & PLAY & LEARN! It’s pretty simple and also very complex!

    For me, it’s a musical composition by Kimio Eto for Japanese Koto that has always been a metaphor for the work the children take on during their Nursery year together. Musically it’s always captured the repeating themes, the playful approach, the sometimes struggles, the ongoing push to master, the essential nature of the children’s process as they move forward in their cycles of growth and development. Oddly enough, I found the original album I had from my childhood and discovered that in English the composition is titled “The Sound of Construction and Progress.” It absolutely fits!

    So celebrate them! They have all done so much to create this group together… all year long. They have enriched themselves and one another in the process. All these glorious individuals have come together to create a truly glorious group. It is very much theirs! I do get the very strong feeling that they will each be carrying along some of their Nursery year as they go forward… expanding, growing, and polishing themselves and the others around them along the way. Thank you all so very much for my experience of being in the day-to-day with your most amazing children.

Read more from Ann's blog...
Ann - Nursery

Ann Guthrie - Nursery

From my earliest, I have been intrigued by the natural world and animal behavior--including human.  Among my ongoing interests are the brain, brain research, individual temperament and personality, child development, social organization of groups, language acquisition, history of  the English language, writing, and words in general.

In many ways an autodidact, I left high school for part of a year when I was 15 to work on a research project which took me to the Kansas City Science Fair and then on to the 1964 National Science Fair-International as a finalist, where I was awarded second place by the American Psychological Association.  I had parents who very much respected personal autonomy, trusted in me, and found ways to support my somewhat quirky and passionate interests which ranged from field study, brown capuchin monkeys, to gymnastics with a lot of other stuff in between.

I did go back to high school and also have a BA from Antioch College in Education with certification K-6.  My post-graduate work is ongoing and mostly of my own design.  Over these past 28 plus years, a good part of it has taken place at the educational laboratory of The Antioch School and in an ongoing collaboration seminar with my colleagues, past and present, who are rare and gifted teachers and profound educational thinkers.

Each year I also have the opportunity to get to know 12 individuals, young children, who bring with them their own unique temperaments, personalities, interests, and learning styles.  I am honored to be part of their process as they learn and grow as individuals, see themselves and one another, and collaborate to create their group.

My husband is a writer whose special interests are music, literature, and history.  Our daughter is an alum of The Antioch School and teaches in the Theater Department at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

For 3 1/2 - 5-year-olds
8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
8:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M.

Upcoming Nursery Events

No events

Contact Ann

If you have a question for Ann, please use the form below to send her an email.

Testimonial of Selah Griffin.

Selah Griffin
The Antioch School 2009-2015

An Older Group student at the time this testimonial was written