Progressive Education

Childhood Happens Once

You blink, and your child is starting high school. Are they still curious, joyful, and engaged? Are they confident and prepared – academically and emotionally – for the wonders and challenges of this next step in their journey?

At Far Brook, we believe that even the smallest children are capable of big things. Our progressive approach preserves a child’s natural sense of wonder and joy, inspiring them to take on intellectual and creative challenges that lead to high academic achievement.

Our approach to education embraces the following tenets of Progressive Education:

  • Theme-based curriculum: Teaching through themes emphasizes depth over breadth, allowing students to become experts on that topic.
  • Hands-on learning: Learning is experiential and active. Students construct their own knowledge through meaningful experiences, guided by passionate educators.
  • An appreciation for nature: Far Brook’s unique wooded campus provides an opportunity for learning without walls. At Far Brook, a bird’s nest discovered in a tree becomes a science lesson; a sound heard in our Wetlands Habitat becomes a poem.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration is emphasized. Students learn to work with others from diverse grades, experiences, learning styles, and thinking, whether solving a problem in Algebra, acting on stage, building a bench in woodshop, or passing the ball on the soccer field.
  • Learning through the arts: Integrating the arts with academics, technology, and physical education has been at the heart of Far Brook’s philosophy since 1948.  Experienced faculty spark curiosity about our world and inspire students to examine complex questions and make connections across disciplines.
  • Social justice: A Far Brook education teaches children to not only be excellent learners, but excellent people. Students find their voice and the confidence to become changemakers, compassionate leaders, and ethical citizens.
    Far Brook’s impact lasts a lifetime.

By the time a Far Brook student graduates from Eighth Grade, they are prepared to stand out at the wide variety of high schools they attend. They are responsible, creative, and curious. They are risk-takers who advocate for themselves and others – both in and out of the classroom. They have a strong sense of empathy and are drawn to academic challenges. They can positively influence others, are capable of making a difference in the world, and are able to live life wisely and with great joy. If that matters to you, take a closer look at Far Brook.


See what some of our recent alumni have to say:

Sydney '16, Pingry '20

“Far Brook has a really organic way of learning. It’s not just throwing information at you and you have to regurgitate it on a test. It’s really a hands-on way of learning.  For science, we would often go out to the wetlands and actually observe what were we learning – if we were learning about cells and plants, or just the biology in the wetlands, we would go out and see what we were learning which is such a great thing to have, especially at such a young age.  It inspires young explorers and young curious minds to fall in love with learning and the joy of learning. Even at such a young age I had such a joy for learning and coming to school.”

Richard '15, Columbia High School '19, Westminster Choir College '23

“Because I went to Far Brook, I know how to think, I know how to talk to my teachers and ask good questions, I know how to engage with adults, I know how to communicate with my peers.  That’s something that Far Brook gives you that no other school can give you in quite the same way.”

Roggi '13, Delbarton '17, Rutgers University '21

“My favorite part of Far Brook is the fact that everyone participates in everything. It’s a liberal arts oriented school which is amazing because you never know what you’re going to end up liking. For example, I’m a theater major now in college and I would have had no idea I would like theater or music or musical theater if I hadn’t come to Far Brook. This is where I really started to become involved in the arts and I cannot thank this school enough because I have found my dream and my passion.”

Isabella '12, Pingry '16, University of Chicago '20

“The number one takeaway – something that I use every single day that I completely thank Far Brook for – is being comfortable with public speaking and confident in general. Even if you are never on stage, you’ll still need this skill and the confidence to communicate at work, to speak up in classes, to raise your hand in a big lecture hall… you’re going to need that skill and Far Brook 1000 percent gives it to you so that it’s natural.”