In the summer of 2009, during an inspirational and progressive education symposium at The Putney School, four independent school leaders asked the big questions: “What if?” and “Why Not?” and the Progressive Education Lab (PEL) was born. Through a generous leadership grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, PEL became a reality.
What brought these four schools together is their collective belief in the power of progressive education and its deep connection to what is necessary in education today:
- Placing students, not curriculum, at the heart of schools
- Focusing on critical thinking to empower creative problem-solving
- Realizing the importance of social justice and educating for participation in the democratic process
PEL has a two-year fellowship designed to give young people who wish to become teachers an understanding of the fundamentals of progressive theory while learning from their experiences at four different progressive schools. PEL’s mission is to prepare new teachers to become powerful educators and agents of change in the profession.