A Democratic Education
“[W]hat kind of world do you want to live in? What do you need to know? What are you good at and want to work at to build that world? Demand that your teachers teach you that.”
— Peter Kropotkin, geographer, economist, activist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, writer
Goddard College offers a democratic education, one that helps individuals develop as increasingly intelligent and responsible world citizens. Our mission is to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world. Education should help students become more of who they are: more thoughtful, knowledgeable, caring, and responsible. Whatever a student chooses to study exists within these developmental aims.
Education and Freedom
Human freedom exists in the context of interdependence. Education for freedom involves helping individuals discover what it is to be free when existence depends on a web of relationships they are constantly weaving. A Goddard education is centered in the problems of choosing and deciding—deciding an area of study, determining which resources you will use, and devising how you will measure what you learn.
Most important at Goddard is the thoughtful consideration every student must give to their own actions, their own decisions, and the context within which their freedoms will be exercised. Education for freedom, then, is an inseparable part of education for intelligent and morally responsible behavior.
The Low-Residency Model
The low-residency model removes the barriers between living your life and learning. In our educational model, each semester begins with an eight-day residency on our campus in Vermont or at one of our educational sites in Washington. Following the residency, there are 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentors. Your residency week offers seminars, meetings with your advising groups, workshops, one-on-one meetings with your advisors, and presentations. You’ll connect with faculty, practitioners, activists and artists, as well as your fellow students.