PEL Beginnings

In the summer of 2009, during an inspirational 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 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.