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The 1981 version of the Roeper Philosophy was written by George and Annemarie soon after they retired from the school. During their years at the school, they had written many statements at different stages of the school’s development. As they were leaving active management of the school, they wanted to put in one place the ideas that they considered foundational to the school’s principles and practices. It was adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1981. Since then, the community has come together at various times to write new statements of the philosophy. None of these is intended to supersede the 1981 version, but are contemporary re-statements of the ideas at the heart of the school. The most current new statement was adopted by the Board in June 2010 and is shared below.
1981 ROEPER PHILOSOPHY
George and Annemarie Roeper founded The Roeper School on a vision and philosophy forged from their heritage in a family and community of educators and child development experts, and tempered by their experiences in Nazi Germany. Their philosophy has been lived and practiced here for seven decades. It lives today at the core of our life at The Roeper School.
We understand each person, child and adult to be a whole human being, worthy of respect and recognition, deserving every opportunity to fulfill his or her potential. We celebrate each child’s development and achievements without defining the child based on how he or she appears in comparison with others.
We understand diversity as fundamental to the human condition. We value diversity of all kinds — including for example thought and background as well as race and religion — and because we encourage differences, we learn things from one another that we could not learn in a homogenous setting. Diversity and interdependence foster competence as much as compassion, and nurture excellence as much as empathy.
We believe that each person has responsibilities as a member of communities — the family, the school and, ultimately, the world. In our learning community, relationships are important and central. We help each learner find the essential balances between rights and responsibilities. We hope to develop independent thinkers who are constructive and caring within family, school and community.
Our philosophy requires a community in which we live and learn by trusting one another, relying on one another, listening to one another, accepting differences and seeing one another truly as equals. It requires extraordinary teachers who understand that children learn better when they want to know; teachers who empower and encourage each child to be adventurous, to take risks and not to fear failure. It requires a school that not only prepares, but also allows, each child to make meaningful decisions and solve important problems.
On the foundation of this philosophy, we create a safe, rigorous, and joyful learning environment. Here, each student is encouraged to find his or her own voice and to pursue his or her intellectual, artistic, and athletic passions. Each child takes a responsible role in his or her own learning. In this environment, children feel happy, emotionally secure and confident, and they develop into self-motivated learners and critical thinkers who pursue excellence in a way that has meaning for them. They discover their own intellectual, artistic and practical abilities, they find their place within an ever-changing world, and they learn to react in a flexible, clear-minded and intelligent manner to the complexity of modern life.
George and Annemarie Roeper’s vision lives today in our commitment to this philosophy and to the community of learners that it inspires.Approved by Board of Trustees, June 7, 2010
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