How Students Learn

At Fairhaven School, students learn from their experiences rather than from coursework.

Learning here is simply a byproduct of what students do. Play and conversation are the two most common activities on campus. Because of the school’s commitment to the right of individuals to shape their lives, the students are entirely self-directed, and they choose how to spend their time at the school.

The environment includes the free exchange of ideas, and conversation is nearly constant, whether in formal settings like School Meeting and various committees or in the daily interactions among the members of the school community. Because all ages mix freely, students learn across different age groups. In the relatively rare instances when students request instruction, the school meets their needs.

Age Mixing

Students of all ages mix freely, learning from one another and from staff, gaining self-confidence and a sense of responsibility. Learning is the natural result of what our students do here, through play, school governance, conversation, classes, computer activities, reading, and the exploration of nature.

I have learned to communicate and deal with people of all ages at Fairhaven, from very small children to much older adults. Everyone at Fairhaven is treated with respect and as an individual and this teaches us to treat others the same way.

- Maryalice Escobedo, Fairhaven Alumna