The Shipley Magazine

How Can Schools Shape a Better World? Thoughts by Alumni In Education

Shipley Alumni
Cannie Crysler Shafer '74
Cannie Crysler Shafer ’74
Interim Educational Director of Program
St. Peter’s School

"Our children cannot be images from the past, but they must become doers in the future. Schools have enormous influence in children’s lives. The school community needs continually to analyze the underlying norms and practices that support a student’s experiences and learning. This requires reflection and sincere discourse."
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Katherine Preston '76
Katherine Preston '76
Former Independent School Teacher

"Schools can provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world, problem-solving projects. Some of the skills that are essential for students to acquire in order to meet the complex challenges we currently face in our world include: critical and analytical thinking; excellent listening; respectful communication; a willingness to take risks; and effective collaboration." Read the full response

Sean Legnini '07
Sean Legnini '07
Middle School Science & STEAM Teacher
The Shipley School

"Personal growth happens through trial and experimentation, whether successful or unsuccessful, and that’s true for the world and its communities, too. Schools provide a safe and open place for us to go through that trial and experimentation without too much fear of failure. In that safe space, we can encourage students to push themselves beyond their boundaries and work with them to feel comfortable being uncomfortable. It is in those moments of trial and experimentation here in the classroom that they’ll create positive personal and communal growth that will radiate well beyond the Shipley campus." Read the full response

Bonnie Rogers Siegler '09
Bonnie Rogers Siegler '09
PhD Student in Sociology
Columbia University

"One crucial step schools can take to promote social mobility and social impact is hiring teachers and mentors that enable students from marginalized backgrounds to navigate systems not designed with them in mind (and strongly supporting these teachers and mentors). Research suggests many schools have successfully evaluated the faults in their own culture and curriculum to adapt, for example, to growing understanding and desire to be inclusive of trans and non-binary students' needs." Read the full response

Elanur Eroglu '15
Elanur Eroglu '15
M.S.Ed. Student in Reading, Writing & Literacy
Penn Graduate School of Education

"By changing dominant narratives, by rewriting the story, students can be authors and creators of their own lives, as we continue to learn alongside each other, in humility, courage, and grace, in our shared commitments to create change that is equitable and sustaining. Schools are where this learning can happen!" Read the full response.


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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.