School & Society
The interrelationship between school and society is essential to Calhoun’s educational identity and philosophy. School & Society is viewed as the philosophical “umbrella” for the myriad activities that Calhoun has always pursued in the areas of community service learning, multiculturalism, social activism, and progressive education theory and practice. The goal — to create a seamless interconnection between the school and our global community — finds expression in every aspect of Calhoun.
The Origins of School & Society
In 2003-04, Calhoun established the School & Society program to strengthen and expand this connection. Named for a series of lectures written in 1900 by philosopher and educator John Dewey, Calhoun’s School & Society program is designed to challenge the school community to reflect on our practice of progressive education and to create an even more porous relationship between Calhoun and the wider world. School & Society addresses this mission by organizing school-wide projects and programs that directly link to organizations outside school, by involving all constituencies in its projects, and by fostering a continuing dialogue about the progressive teaching practices of the school.
Programming and Outreach
This 6-part evening class, co-facilitated by Head of School Steve Nelson, is open to parents, faculty/staff, alumnae/i and Upper School students. The goal is to deepen our community's understanding of the progressive education tradition.
School-to-School Learning Collaborations
Calhoun actively seeks to establish on-going relationships with other schools, through curricular connections and/or teacher practice. Current projects connect Calhoun with Freebrook Academy, Family Life Academy Charter School (FLAC), and the educational programs at the West End Residences. Many school-to-school collaborations are co-organized with Calhoun's Community Service and Sustainability program. One ongoing collaboration with FLACS revolves around our Aeroponic Tower Gardens.
Guest Speakers, Workshops, Films
The School & Society Initiative sponsors educational workshops, films, guest speakers and town hall meetings for the Calhoun community as well as for the larger New York community. These events are co-sponsored by our Performing Arts Series and, frequently, our Diversity & Equity groups.
School Visits and Visitors
We welcome educators from the USA and international educational community to visit Calhoun to see progressive education in action. Similarly, Calhoun representatives will frequently tour schools and other educational settings (schools, community centers). These visits help us reflect on our progressive practice and philosophy. Interested educators can contact Tanya Espy-Disparti, 212-497-6542.
School & Society helps maintain the Professional Development collection of books and other resources that are available for use by the school community in our 81st Street library. We also maintain a brief web list of of What We're Reading, as well as a Pinterest Board on Progressive Education, Experiential and Project-Based Learning, and related topics.