This past week I attended the annual Round Square International Conference, where the theme Waves of Change stressed the impact that each of us can make to affect our world and make it a better place. Coupled with activities and speakers for our students attending, were several sessions for Heads of Schools, Round Square school reps and Round Square board members.
Round Square is a global organization of schools who share the philosophical beliefs of Kurt Hahn. As Headmaster of Wellington College, Dr. Anthony Seldon reminded us in his presentation to Heads, Chairs and Reps of Round Square schools, Hahn and consequently Round Square schools believe in the importance of the following components within a student’s education:
- Self-discovery opportunities for students, learning actively
- success and failure- and the opportunity to learn from both
- the understanding of self effacement for greater good and the importance of transcendence of ego
- opportunities for silence and reflection each day for all
- encouragement of the imagination such that we are embracing creativity
- sports/games being important but not to an extreme, and
- providing spiritual depth
Dr. Seldon impressed on us all that too many schools have become ‘factory’ schools, churning out students who have simply taken in content, written exams and completed their time. He stressed that Kurt Hahn was far ahead of his time in his views and that through his vision we are able to open the hearts and minds of our students. He impressed on us that these abovementioned components of Hahnian education are needed far more now than they were before.
In a world that has seen that education can be subject to trends, it is comforting to know that these longtime principles are still front of mind within our organization and our schools. At St. Clement’s, a Round Square school, we believe in the importance of opening hearts and minds every day.