FUNDAMENTAL PEDAGOGICAL CONVICTIONS

1.  A Non-Competitive, Stimulating Atmosphere

Administration, faculty and students are held to the highest standard in their way of relating to

one another. In an atmosphere of sincerity and truth, students are free to learn for the pleasure of

learning. Students do not compete with their peers for rank, grades or prizes. Learning is the

focus, not besting a classmate. Great ideas, great works of literature, great works of art, the glory

of the created world, and the common experiences of life are placed before the students to study

and discuss. Students are stimulated to observe, explore and understand.

2. The Discipline of Habit

While recognizing that students have various levels of gifting, it is the expectation of Ambleside

administration and faculty that every student will develop the habits necessary for producing

work of the highest quality and that all Ambleside students will grow to the fullness of their

God-given potential.

At Ambleside, we consider the process of student work to be as important as the end product.

Rather than developing persons who are able to study well for the next exam, we are interested in

helping students develop a life of study. We ask the questions: Did she attend? Did he put forth

effort? And was she thorough? We believe school is not just an institution to get through, but

rather a place to develop habits that will serve children the rest of their lives.

3. Education as Vital, Dynamic, Living

Real learning occurs when the learner wonders, asks why and how. Thus, it is essential that the

teacher cultivate an atmosphere that is rich in great ideas, thus stimulating thought. The teacher

must seek to place the very best books before students; books rich in content and ideas, putting

them into relationship with the finest authors. Through the use of “living books” students interact

with scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, historians, artists, poets, and explorers.

4. The Infinite Dignity and Potential of Each Child

Because children are created in God’s image, they are born with a great potential for a fruitful

life full of varied interests and relationships. At Ambleside, children are not identified or limited

by their strengths or weaknesses. All children participate in a broad, rigorous curriculum—all

children calculate, solve, attend, explore, ponder, recite, paint and sing. The expectation that

prevails within the school is that all students will learn and grow to their full potential as persons

and attain their vast inheritance.

5. The Priority of the Relational Life​

Children live in relationship with God, self, others, creation, and the world of ideas. These

relationships are cultivated in the educational process through a broad, challenging curriculum

and a faculty that seeks to relate to students, parents, and one another in accordance with the

principles of Jesus Christ.


6. The Importance of Delight and of Struggle

Children will naturally delight in the feast of great ideas set before them. They will savor them

and grow in the ability to enjoy and celebrate their relations with persons, ideas, and creation.

But they will also at times struggle. Struggle is as essential to the learning process as delight.

Children must learn to labor with problems not yet grasped, to remain on task when uncertain of

the outcome, to struggle to completion when mind and hand are tired, to experience the rewards

and negative consequences of their actions. There will be no growth in character without the

struggle.


Children are to be continuously engaged with inspirational ideas and meaningful work. The

classroom is not a place for entertainment and indulgence, any more than it is a place for

meaningless drudgery. Such practices encourage passivity and detract from the deep satisfactions

that come with growing knowledge and fruitful labor.

 
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1409 Broeking Rd
Marion, Illinois 62959

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