Saturday, February 12, 2011

Queries for education

Queries for Education

Quaker Queries (education)
*****Originally a set of queries adapted or developed for Moorestown Friends School.
I. Friends Testimonies and Concerns:
A. Are there common Quaker values or principles that Friends wish to foster in a VFS?
B. Is there a common affirmation of our Quaker faith and experience that is represented by a corporate commitment?
C. How do we strive to convey the importance of individual truth through that of God in each of us while maintaining the corporate nature of Friends convictions and commitments?
D. How does this commitment to Friends faith and practice apply to institutions that consist largely of non-Friends?
E. How can Friends resist being all things to all persons without becoming any thing to anybody and thus nothing that can be identified as unique or committed to anything?
II. Within a Friends School;
A. How can we develop a truly supportive relationships between the meetings and churches and a VFS?
B. How can administrators, faculty/staff become united toward creating an intentional caring
community with Meeting for worship as the center?
C. How can we meet the needs of Non-Quaker and Quaker students alike in becoming more accepting without compulsion or indoctrination?
D. How can Quaker principles be brought to bear on each aspect of a VFS?
E. How can Non-Quaker and Quaker administrators and faculty/staff be oriented to Quaker practice?
F. How is our commitment to Friends testimonies and concerns diminished by competitive recruiting practices, financial problems, pressures to conform to society, and pressure to give up corporate traditions and principles for immediate concerns?
III. Personal:
A. What am I willing to do personally to help create a more concerned community of teaching and learning at a VFS?
B. Am I careful to avoid the busy-ness of the institution to care for individuals?
C. What do I do to make the teaching of the school an experiential development of truth?
D. How do I demonstrate that I have learned to maintain my own personal quietness and commitments to family and personal growth?
E. Is personal growth a way of life for me that is evident to those around me, especially the students, or is it just something I say is important?
F. Do I encourage every member of the community, especially students, to develop those talents and gifts that have been given to the individual regardless of the level or extent of those gifts in order to reach the potential of each person?
G. How does my personality and actions reflect the Quaker values of integrity, compassion, simplicity, equality, commitment and courage?
*****Meeting for Learning Queries; (from "Meeting for Learning" by Parker Palmer.)
Do I come to learning prepared for a genuine meeting between myself, other persons, ideas and texts?
Do I try, in teaching and learning, to stay close to what I know experientially, and do I take care to ask the same of others? Am I willing to devote the energy necessary to engage my whole self in the learning process, and especially to cultivate those aspects of myself which are underdeveloped? Do I take full advantage of the community of learning by sharing my insights with others, and by willingness to test myself against their experiences? Do I help foster the learning community in this way? Do I appreciate that the consequences of learning will be different for different people, and am I open to unexpected consequences for myself? Do I accept the possibility that meeting for learning may change not only my mind but my life?

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