|About the Book|
The Friends Council on Education has generously enabled me to visit many of our Quaker schools and colleges, some a number of times, during the past fifteen years. That the most frequently raised query continues to be, “What should a Friends schoolMoreThe Friends Council on Education has generously enabled me to visit many of our Quaker schools and colleges, some a number of times, during the past fifteen years. That the most frequently raised query continues to be, “What should a Friends school be?” tells me two things: one, that most of our schools continue to be favored with head masters and teachers who sense that the mission of a Friends school should be much more than just academic excellence, though we feel uncertain about what that “much more” should be.Secondly, the query tells me that Friends must continue to search for ways in which to speak more nourishingly to the query than we have heretofore been able to do. Our schools are very vulnerable to the corrosive effects of a pervasively seductive and secular society. Of the procession of new heads, teachers, parents, and students that continuously moves through Friends schools, only a meagre handful come from the Quaker community. My concern is that if our schools are to retain and strengthen their identity as Friends schools and if they are to have transforming effects on the character of their students, then we must reflectively and persistently try to understand what truth our tradition has to speak to the query. And we must as ceaselessly seek to implement our insights in the way we teach and organize our schools.Those who know many Quaker schools intimately know how far they fall short of our tradition’s ideals. Our schools are richly diverse- some have very distinctive views of what “a Friends school should be.” Others are much less certain. This pamphlet is only one Friends’s answer to the query. Although it does not describe any Quaker school I know, I hope it puts into words what many may feel should be the values of a Friends school.