Teacher, Hackley School Round Square Representative
Teacher, MS Global Education Coordinator
In 2012, Hackley was invited to join Round Square, a consortium of over 150 independent schools around the world that share a commitment to discovering the world and making a difference.
Through this membership, Hackley students and faculty are able to participate in a wide range of travel, exchange, and hosting opportunities.
Round Square schools are founded on a philosophy which embraces a series of six pillars or "IDEALS": Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership, and Service.
Round Square I-D-E-A-L-S
The IDEALS on which Round Square is based represent the theories of experiential educational philosopher Kurt Hahn, who believed that schools should have a greater purpose beyond preparing young people for college and university.
Dr. Hahn, who was also the founder of Outward Bound and of United World Colleges, believed that it was crucial for students to prepare for life by having them face it head on and experience it in ways that would demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution. As a result, he felt that young people would become empowered and develop the skills and abilities to be the leaders and guardians of tomorrow's world.
Dr. Hahn believed that "There is more in you than you know." Students at Round Square schools make a commitment to addressing each of the six IDEALS through intellectual and cultural exchanges, service projects, and adventure activities.
Round Square's overarching goal is to ensure the full and individual development of every student as a whole person through the simultaneous realization of academic, physical, cultural and spiritual aspirations.
The most powerful force in advocating and promoting international understanding is exposure to different cultures.
Students from all nationalities are welcomed into each school. They are taught to appreciate, value and respect all cultures, religions and languages. Students learn to see themselves as global citizens and are asked to look beyond gender, class, race, nationality and culture to understand human nature.
Schools organize term-length exchanges among students and faculty. Annually, delegations of students and staff gather at member schools to attend an international conference and work on solving world issues. Students are also encouraged to join international service projects.
Teaching students both the values of democracy and the importance of active participation in in the democratic process is essential to Round Square schools.
Freedom of thought and speech is greatly encouraged and appropriate fora and channels of communication are set in place. Students are also taught to appreciate the importance of self-discipline and are trained and expected to share in the running of the school. Therefore, student government and a genuine sense of responsibility in the management of the school are goals in all Round Square schools.
Students are taught the importance of environmental stewardship and tending to the future of the planet.
Round Square students are expected to demonstrate an active interest and concern for all natural environments, to be aware of proven problems and to play a practical role in tackling environmental issues.
Students are taught the fine balance and the interdependence needed to maintain a healthy relationship between human beings and the planet. Special programs, work projects and curricula all emphasize each young person's destiny to be a guardian of human society and the global environment.
Building the body and soul through adventure, meeting the physical challenge and developing an appreciation of the outdoors: these are all central to Round Square schools.
Each school arranges outdoor and extra-curricular activities that challenge and engage students--individually and within groups–-in ways that promote personal growth and self-discovery.
All students are expected to participate in Outward Bound-type activities which will foster a spirit of adventure and the realization that students can be so much more than they might have imagined. Round Square schools also incorporate adventure programs for various grades into school calendars.
Students are taught that true leadership is found in those whose convictions are rooted in personal responsibility, kindness, and justice.
Opportunities for student leadership in the school's community are fostered through a wide variety of leadership roles ranging from student government, student disciplinary council to community service, club leadership, and athletics team captaincy.
A high level of responsibility is passed on to students individually and collectively. Round Square committees in schools are chaired by students, and various leadership positions of consequence are shared by the students. The annual conference is an ideal forum for students at the host schools to demonstrate leadership skills, both in the planning process and public administration.
Round Square prepares students for life by inculcating the value of service to others.
Each student is encouraged to participate in service activities, either in school-sponsored, regional or international projects. Round Square has sponsored international service projects since the early 1980's, often in underserved areas, where both staff and students from Round Square schools work together in constructing such necessities as schools and water systems.
Schools are also expected to train students in skills to help in emergency or disaster situations. To help in funding these projects, students raise money for the Prince Alexander Project Fund which supplies construction materials for the projects and funds the participation of financial aid students in these projects.