Helen Parkhurst in Education on the Plan, 1922
Children who grow up with a joy in the work which interests them will be likely to find that interest useful to them in their later life. It is certain at all events, that our education which allows a child liberty to develop and time to think and plan must favour the expansion of all the good qualities innate in his* personality.
*The use of male pronouns in Helen Parkhurst's writings reflects language usage of her era and does not denote male preference.
The academic program has always been a key piece of the education of a Dalton student.
However, the unwritten curriculum - ensuring the moral and socially conscious development of students - is equally important. Dalton recognizes the value of developing an understanding of people and cultures different from our own. The school has a responsibility in this process. In the future, Dalton will continue to offer an increasing range of opportunities to expose students to international and local service projects and other community initiatives. More than ever, instilling the values of empathy, awareness, and responsibility is a significant role that Dalton plays in students' development.
One of the school's distinguishing characteristics has been and will continue to be the people of Dalton. Dalton's student body is a microcosm of New York City's culture and reflects diversity in the broadest sense of the word - in race, ethnicity, religion, economics, geography, family style, etc. Learning from peers with varied experiences and backgrounds provides a critical component of a Dalton education.
Another key people component of Dalton is, of course, the faculty. The influence of great teachers lives forever. Dalton teachers develop relationships with their students that nourish students' souls as well as their minds. As so well stated by a current senior: "When we reflect on Helen Parkhurst's original vision for Dalton, we think of a place where creativity, individuality, and intellectual curiosity are prized and encouraged to thrive and where every student plays an active role in fashioning a personal learning process that is effective and meaningful. We think of a school committed to the cultivation of independent, critical thinking and to the value of intellectual and artistic exploration for their own sake." It is Dalton's teachers who will continue to ensure this vision is carried out in the classrooms and halls of Dalton. It is the school's teachers who will educate our students to be active participants in society and leaders for the twenty-first century.