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The Peculiar Mission of a Quaker School

By Douglas H. Heath

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #225 (1979)

Price: $7.50


Friends schools exist to empower students, faculty, and staff to live more fully in the Truth, to educate for goodness, and to bring each person to the “teacher within.”

About the Author(s)

Douglas H. Heath (1925-2014), born in Woodbury, NJ, attended Swarthmore College until drafted as a non-combatant CO with command of a medical corps in France. A principled Friend, he did not address officers as “sir.” He completed studies at University of Massachusetts and obtained a doctorate from Harvard (1954). That year, he joined the psychology department at Haverford College. Students recall him as challenging, emphasizing that there was no short-cut to excellence. He insisted on thoughtful discipline.

His academic work focused on maturation in college and beyond – a decades-long study of Haverford freshmen, their wives, partners, and children posed the question “what contributes to a child becoming a successful adult?” Another study compared Americans, Italians, and Turks to ask if mature individuals have similar characteristics.

He was passionate about satisfaction of teachers in their work. During the 1960s and 1970s, he ran a program for Haverford students to live and work in Philadelphia public schools to encourage compassion. He saw Quaker education as an opportunity to develop gifts and mature as a full human being, rather than promoting worldly success.

He and his wife Harriet, a parenting educator, were valued members of Radnor Meeting.

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #225

Additional information

Weight 2.3 oz