Our Educational Philosophy
Our K-8 educational program, rooted in a deep commitment to wellness and belonging, aims to develop the intellect, moral fiber, confidence, resilience, and leadership skills in each student.
Passionate educators – architects of the student experience at Hamlin – conceive and design units of inquiry and study that inspire our students to be innovative thinkers, collaborators, and courageous leaders who demonstrate empathy, flexibility, cultural humility, and integrity. Hamlin students want to learn. They know how to learn. And they come to know how they learn best. At the end of each engaging day at school, during which they break a “cognitive sweat,” Hamlin students are proud of their individual and collective efforts and achievements. Struggles, failures, and flaws are viewed as signs of being fully human and are embraced as opportunities to deepen learning and develop self-awareness. Students value hard work in all learning arenas, as it is the pathway to their sense of self-efficacy. At the same time, they come to understand that stepping back from work to rest, play, and reflect is an equally valuable endeavor. Over the course of their years at Hamlin, students build a strong foundation for high school and beyond by engaging in an intellectually demanding and stimulating academic program that is balanced by a steadfast commitment to mental health and wellness.
Learning at Hamlin is purposeful, joyful, and expansive. We embrace the importance of content knowledge in our program, and we are ignited by the words of our founder Sarah Dix Hamlin, who asserted that “the mere knowledge of the facts would be insufficient” to prepare girls to meet the challenges of their time. Thus, our educational program emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and its application in new and unfamiliar contexts. Hamlin students learn inside the classrooms of our large urban campus and outside in the greater Bay Area: in national parks; local museums; technology companies; performing arts centers; and various non-profits. Through service learning and community partnerships, our students are taught that learning at school has immediate relevance in real life and that their lives are inextricably linked to others in our city and in our world.
Although no educational program can reliably predict the future, our program is grounded in the belief that success in life will require critical thinking and problem solving, effective oral and written communication, collaboration, self-regulation, self-care, and an active imagination. Moreover, we believe that girls and gender minorities will need to navigate their lives and chosen work with a clear sense of their power and voice.
The K-8 educational program at Hamlin is a mission-driven, values-laden set of learning experiences intentionally designed by outstanding educators and leaders. It is the core of what we do.