What is a Quaker Education?
What is Quaker Education?
A Friends school hopes to offer a community that cares deeply about what kind of persons its members, young and old, are becoming, what goals and motives are effective in their lives, what their response is to the high calling of being human.
They hope to be communities of those who have not only techniques and knowledge, but also a vivid relationship to reality, a commitment to social justice, a passion for truth, and the experience of growth into goodness together.
Quaker education does not seek to inculcate a particular set of beliefs or doctrines; it seeks to nurture a particular sort of personhood; a person who has first-hand experience of the reality and importance of the truth in life. A person that can hear all voices but trust their own. A person who is tolerant and can accept the fundamental differences between us while still finding a constructive path with those we disagree with.
Quaker education represents a unique combination of academic excellence and moral development.
Links to a few other Friends Schools in the United States:
Life-Long Habits of Mind and Character
The International Friends School holds itself to the highest standard of the 300 year-old tradition of academic excellence grounded by strongly held values in all Quaker Friends Schools. We join the ranks of today’s best independent schools who recognize that rigorous academics alone do not serve the whole person, but need to be balanced with attention to a child’s capacity for independent thought, creativity, reflection and industriousness. At IFS, we do not ascribe to a single God, but welcome all faiths and belief systems. As an international school, our enrolled families and hired faculty and staff allow for an authentic opportunity for IFS students to understand and embrace salient characteristics of people, geography, religion and culture.
Service: A Culture of Contribution. Friends understand that people are all connected, regardless of geography, and that we have the responsibility to continually explore how to improve the lives of other living beings both in our community and far away.
Peace: Peacemaking at home and abroad. Friends oppose violence, but rather endeavor to see the light and the good in every person regardless of nationality, race, gender and social status. We believe in social justice and in helping students shape their abilities to solve conflicts through strategic dialogue.
Integrity: Commitment to word and action. The need to deal honestly with oneself and with others is a foundational Friends behavior.
Community: Living Together. Quakers believe in the power of the gathered community. Our community signifies unity, trust and acceptance in a group with common shared values. At IFS, we continually bring our community of students and families together to explore social, political and environmental change.
Equality: Social Justice. Friends Schools believe that equality is essential, but different from sameness. Equality asks that we give and receive the same respect, kindness and care for one another.
Stewardship: Care for the earth and its people. Friends believe that good stewardship is taking care of what has been given, not just for individual use, but also for future generations. At IFS, students participate in this safe keeping guardianship everyday.
Meeting for Reflection
To strengthen the spirit, quiet the mind and allow our inner resources to organize, we meet in silence once a week as a school, and every month as a community. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend. This allows us opportunity to explore our queries and strengthen our togetherness.
* Thank you to the San Francisco Friends School and Friends Council on Education for helping us inform and shape our writing about the Quaker traditions and testimonies.