February 17, 2014
Peninsula School feels like an oasis of calm in high pressured Silicon Valley. It was founded in 1925 by a group of Stanford faculty and spouses who weren't happy with the "factory" model of education in the public schools. Josephine Duveneck was the first principal of the school (she created Hidden Villa in Los Altos, her home) and was dedicated to a model of progressive education. Important to progressive educators are learning useful skills (ie, wood working, weaving, ceramics, gardening), freedom to play, the abillity to express oneself in the classroom, democratic modeling, community jobs, developing critical thinking skills in all academic subjects, and freedom of artistic expression (music, art, drama). All of these ideals that were formed in the 1920's still hold true today. Children are engaged in their learning, joyful in the classroom and are able to take risks academically without feeling judged. As a trained teacher in progressive education in Boston, MA, I was skeptical about the "hippie school" I had heard about. After the school day tour, I was so excited to see a school that was vibrant and true to the progressive ideals. A hidden treasure in the valley.
- submitted by a parent