Students work in the gle


Growing Lifelong Learners Since 1972

Social and Ethical Development

Guiding students to become responsible, compassionate, and caring individuals is an important and highly visible part of our mission and, therefore, our curriculum. We aim to create caring classrooms where individual differences are not just respected but highly valued. We help students build honest, positive connections with others and the earth.

Starting in the youngest classrooms, children are taught how to resolve conflicts non-violently and with dignity. Students at Wingra use "I statements" and are encouraged to be assertive with their peers and with adults. Small groups of students gather when needed to discuss issues that cause conflict among their peers.

Personal responsibility is continually expanded to group responsibility, and students are taught group skills early on. As children mature, the theme of responsibility is broadened to include the wider community beyond the school. In the older classes, wellness, health, sexuality, and ethics are frequently discussed to promote students' ability to make thoughtful decisions based on the best available information and on principle.

Many Wingra traditions, such as learning partners, all-school recess and lunch, the zipper club, and all-school units, are designed as opportunities for older students to take responsibility for younger students, and for olders and youngers to learn from one another.

Photo by Marieka Greene