“The ideal of the school is to develop individuals who will be competent to change their environment to greater conformity with moral ideals.”
—Felix Adler, philosopher, humanist, and founder of the 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 and economic and racial diversity, and we honor all of our students for their unique contributions, cultural background and beliefs. We consider service to be critical to the development of character, so 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, 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.