Since 1973, The Learning Project has built a rich tradition of guiding students through their early academic years based on some steadfast pedagogical commitments—to the traditional ‘liberal arts’ curriculum; to excellence and exacting standards; to responding to individual differences in scholastic abilities, readiness and interests; to providing opportunities for creative and active learning; to promoting social and emotional growth, and, to the development of each child’s character. We consider the matters of who our children are, and who they are becoming equal in importance to what they know and what they can do.
One of the school’s primary goals is to raise in its children a healthy concern for others and for social justice, and to develop their skills and habits to be good schoolmates and good world citizens, willing to help out as needed and willing to confront issues in effective and nonviolent ways. In its daily life, the community cultivates kindness and gentle good humor and practices respect, civility of conduct, and honesty in word and deed.
The small size of the school reflects the ideals of simplicity and community, and the notion that small institutions have a unique ability to respond to large challenges in powerful ways. The school is of a manageable scale for young children and because there is a high level of interaction across the grades, there is a strong sense of community. As in the one-room schoolhouse of an earlier time, children of different ages have opportunities to interact and to teach and learn from one another. Older children are expected to look ‘out’ for the younger ones; and the younger ones are expected to look ‘up’ to the older ones.
We believe that the school’s small size remains one of its greatest strengths.