Quaker schools, or Friends Schools are quite popular in the Philadelphia area, with more here than in any other part of the country. Don’t believe me? Check the directory. What makes a Quaker education unique? I am no expert, but The Friends Council on Education defines the core tenets of a Quaker Education as focusing on:
- Academic and Moral Development
- Access and Affordability
- Diversity and Multiculturalism
- Institutional Independence
- Peace Education and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution
- Service Learning
- World Citizenry
Moorestown High School, my non-Quaker public high school in New Jersey just outside of Philadelphia, used the Quaker as our mascot (see logo). We had the decidedly un-Quaker anti-pacifist sports motto, “GO! FIGHT! WIN!” and I would argue that there was nothing Quaker about my education.
Despite that example, I suspect that Quaker school values likely are quite pervasive in non-Friends schools throughout Greater Philadelphia. Why? Because of cross-pollination–students attend Quaker schools and go on to teach at public schools. Teachers and school administrators leave Quaker schools to go to non-Quaker schools. For example, the co-CEOs of Wissahickon Charter were both educated at Haverford College, a local college with Quaker origins. Not surprisingly, Wissahickon Charter has many of these tenets in their curriculum. I suspect that the tenets of Quakerism permeate in many ways throughout the region in large and small ways. Do you know of other examples of how Quaker educational philosophy has permeated non-Quaker schools?