Fundamental Beliefs

In 1954, founder and progressive educator Carmelita Hinton distilled her vision for The Putney School into eight fundamental beliefs. These beliefs continue to shape the Putney community and curriculum today.

  1. To work not for marks, badges, honors, but to discover truth and to grow in knowledge of the universe and in the understanding of men, to treasure the hard stretching of oneself, to render service.
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  3. To learn to appreciate and participate in the creative arts where man gives expression to his struggle for communication of his inner life and for beauty, and to grant these arts great prestige.
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  5. To believe in manual labor, be glad to do one's share of it and proud of the skills learned in the doing.
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  7. To play just as wholeheartedly as one works, but watching out a bit for the competitive angle, remembering that play is for recreation and an increased joy in living.
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  9. To want to lend a hand to the community at large, not to live in an "ivory tower."
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  11. To combat prejudices caused by differences in economic, political, racial, and religious backgrounds; to strive for a world outlook, putting oneself in others' places, no matter how far away or how remote.
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  13. To have old and young work together in a true comradeship relation, stressing the community and its need for the cooperation of all.
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  15. To wish to live adventurously though not recklessly, willing to take risks, if need be, for moral growth, so that one definitely progresses along the long slow road toward achieving a civilization worthy of the name.
  16. - Carmelita Hinton, 1954