Quaker Practice: Learning



Learning is a fundamental testimony at Mary McDowell Friends School. Learning influences all that we do in our community. The idea that every student, given the proper instruction, can learn and excel resonates with the Quaker belief that the light resides in each and every one of us. It is incumbent on the individual as well as the community to let that light shine.

Students arrive at MMFS with any number of learning challenges and are supported, nurtured, and guided to be the best students that they can be. Teachers are consistently challenged to be the best instructors they can be so that they can comfortably guide their students throughout each school year. Parents learn about their child’s strengths and struggles and about our educational philosophy. Administrators and Board members undertake to learn how best to execute the mission of the school.

The sages finally concluded that both were right. “Learning is more important when it leads to action,” they declared.

Jewish folklore

The secret in education lies in respecting the student.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Formal education is only a jumping-off point for a lifetime of learning and doing, and what concerns good schools and good teachers is how students apply the learning they acquire to living their lives.

Robert Lawrence Smith


  • How do people learn?
  • What is learning? How do I learn? How do I become a learner? What challenges affect my learning?
  • Under what conditions do I learn best?
  • How does the environment affect learning?
  • How do you know whether or not you’ve learned something?
  • What are the most important things you have learned?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • How do I help others learn?
  • How do people learn around the world?

Next: Silent Meeting