Paramount to our philosophy of teaching and learning is the belief that intelligence is neither a fixed nor an unchanging commodity. St. James’ intentionally expands each child’s capacity for learning in a thoughtfully designed environment where children are not just “taught;” they are encouraged to explore, investigate, work collaboratively, and probe the world around them.
Though we are best known for our traditional educational approaches, we also believe that children should have the opportunity to construct meaning as they assimilate knowledge. Rather than merely providing rote learning in our classrooms, we encourage our teachers to stretch the children’s ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what they learn; to apply their learning to new situations; and to present confidently and in a variety of formats what they have learned.
Because our children will inherit a complex and unpredictable world, we believe that a St. James’ education should provide our students with the thinking strategies they will need to solve problems and resolve conflicts. We acknowledge that our children must grow into adulthood with equal measures of creativity and critical thinking skills, and we foster the ability to seek and apply knowledge from a wide variety of sources. But above all, we at St. James’ pledge to inculcate in our students a commitment to ethical behavior and an abiding appreciation for the differences that mark each human being as an individual of inestimable worth and dignity.