Following up from last week’s general information concerning the introduction of Friends’ School in PA, I have more research this week on the “Mission Statement” of the four Friends Schools. The statement is very important because it tells us what the school values the most and how will the community works as a whole.
Westtown’s mission statement is “Guided by the essential Quaker calling to seek out and honor that of God in each of us, Westtown School challenges its students to realize their individual gifts while learning and living together in a diverse community. Westtown inspires and prepares its graduates to be stewards and leaders of a better world.” (From westtown.edu) Westtown School emphasizes the growth of students through overcoming challenges and realizing their individual talents through the obstacles. While finding individual talents, a quality of leadership can also be developed throughout the process. Another point worth mentioning is the diverse community mentioned in the statement. Unlike some religions which are not inclusive, Quakers widely accept different ethnics and religions.
Through interacting with each other and knowing other better, we can inspire each other with various values and we can grow together as a community.
The second statement is from Abington Friends School. Its mission statement is “Full engagement, in the vital intellectual world of the classroom, in the arts and athletics, in community decision-making, and in the larger community that surrounds us, is a hallmark of AFS. It stems from our commitment to appreciating children fully for who they are and with a vision for who they may become. “ (From abingtonfriends.net) Similar to Westtown School, Abington Friends School surrounds it emphasis on intellectual engagement in a community. Asides from academics, extra curricular activities are also seen as key developments for the students in the school. This is a big difference compared to Japanese education. Academics always go first in Asia and students rarely have enough chances to explore their personal interests and develop higher skills. Even in academics, only certain subjects are being emphasized. Math and Science for example are the two. Foreign language and World History on the other hand are rather neglected. Abington Friends School also sees the importance of the diversity of a community. A multicultural education is what the school is fostering. Moreover, Abington Friends School also supports programs such as SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) By learning and accepting different backgrounds and experiences, a community can bond together even better.
The third and the fourth mission statement is from Friends Central School and Germantown Friends School. They both convey similar meanings to the previous two. Friends Central’s pedagogy is “grounded in reflection, integrity, and a willingness to accept responsibility. We teach that reason does not preclude compassion and that curiosity leads always to possibility. For over 160 years, this solid foundation has ensured both the opportunity and ability for extraordinary achievement.” (From friendscentral.org) And the mission statement from Germantown Friends School is “Germantown Friends School is dedicated to reaching that of God in every person. Our mission is to seek truth, challenge the intellect, honor differences, embrace the city, and nurture each student’s mind, body and spirit. “ (germantownfriends.org) Challenges and intellectual development is crucial in the four Friends educations. They all believe that there is God in everyone. The system is shaped to help every student design their best education in order to let us develop the most out of the various opportunities.