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Educational Philosophy & The Liberal Arts

WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT LEARNING

EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

LEARNING is Waterford School’s reason for being, its passion, its whole point. Our students learn how to learn, how to be self-reflective within the process of learning, how to develop a robust repertoire of learning strategies, and how to deploy those strategies flexibly across a broad range of subject matter, including the arts, the humanities, the sciences, and a variety of physical activities. In the process, students gain a self-competence that will sustain a lifetime of learning.

LEARNING at Waterford is enhanced by the recognition of responsibility. Our students value strong expectations that emphasize work, self-discipline, and dependability. As they practice personal accountability within the school context, they realize that learning is inherently communal and connected: that they and their teachers are in it together. Though we as individuals can become accomplished as our own teachers, learning necessarily occurs in the context of other persons, their ideas and voices, historical and contemporary. Learning is therefore invariably indebted.

LEARNING at Waterford is inescapably moral, in the broadest sense of that term. Our students come to recognize that all learning bears on living and ultimately on how best to live. They embrace the natural imperative to learn, but they also recognize a deep responsibility to share their learning with others in hope that they will be lifted thereby, their lives made richer and more fulfilled. There is no end to learning nor is it itself an end. Rather, learning is the means by which we all aspire to the nobility of the well-lived life.

 

LIBERAL ARTS AT WATERFORD SCHOOL

A liberal arts education teaches students to adapt and thrive in a world of rapid change. It cultivates robust general intelligence by resisting premature specialization, requiring instead sustained study in classical academic disciplines along with focused work in the arts and physical education. Teachers in the liberal arts challenge students with discussion, writing, and problem solving activities to internalize their learning. Students master the essential skills of lifelong learning: they know how to acquire information, how to assess information, and how to act on their plans and insights. Ultimately, the experience of a liberal arts education compels students to embrace their responsibilities as citizens in a complex world.

 

PORTRAIT OF A WATERFORD GRADUATE

Acquisition

Assessment Action
Exploration                                        

Critical Thinking

Written and Oral Communication

Inquiry

Synthesis of Ideas Problem Solving
Literacy

Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Adaptability

Numeracy

Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis Organization and time management
   

Collaboration

   

Ethical Decision Making

   

Civic Engagement

 

   

 

 

More on Waterford School's Vision, Mission & Core Values and Strategic Plan