The ideal of the school is not the adaptation of the individual to the existing social environment; it is to develop individuals who are competent to change their environment to greater conformity with moral ideals."
philosopher, humanist, & founder of Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Felix Adler’s educational vision is as important today as it was when the Ethical
Culture Fieldston School was founded in 1878. To continue to realize that
vision, we embrace the following ideals:
- Ethical Learning: The exploration of what it means to be an ethical and responsible member of society forms the core of our curriculum and our school community. We value inclusion as well as economic and racial diversity. We honor all of our students for their unique contributions, cultural background, and beliefs. As we consider service to be critical to the development of character, we incorporate community service into the children’s school experience from the earliest grades.
- Academic Excellence: Our school achieves academic excellence by challenging students to reach their highest potential in body, mind, and spirit through the humanities, the sciences, the arts, and physical education. The students become active learners and engage in vital discourse in a community of dedicated teachers and an atmosphere of intellectual discipline and creativity.
- Progressive Education: Through a curriculum rooted in the tenets of progressive education, students become independent thinkers as they learn that asking their own questions and seeking their own answers provides the key to the deepest kind of understanding. Cooperative, student-centered, discussion-based learning and the freedom to make mistakes are part of our students’ everyday lives.
With an enduring commitment to excellence in progressive education, we inspire a diverse and joyful community of passionate learners, critical thinkers, and ethical individuals who aim to make the world more humane and just.