Global Education

Collaborative Learning and Ethical Leadership in a Connected World

As a result of the school’s global focus informed by Friends values, a Westtown graduate will know she lives in a diverse world and that her worldview is but one of many.

Throughout her Westtown education, she will have had real experiences working on and solving authentic world problems with students beyond Westtown’s confines. Graduates’ ability to lead and communicate effectively will have been grounded in the frequent practice of both.

Westtown’s educational promise is to teach young people to think while empowering them to behave in accordance with their convictions, emphasizing the connection between academic learning and acting as stewards and leaders of a better world in ways that are courageous and compassionate. At Westtown, educating ‘global citizens’ means developing specific competencies: their capacities for ethical living and cultural understanding, leadership and collaboration, analytical reasoning, communication, creativity, and information literacy.

Ethical and Cultural

  • Civic responsibility: Students act responsibly as local and global citizens with the interests of the larger community in mind
  • Perspective: Students are able to set aside their own world view and understand another’s perspective
  • Systems thinking: Students recognize ways in which different aspects influence one another within a whole, analyzing how parts coalesce to produce an overall outcome
  • Culture crossing: Students have authentic experiences of immersion in other cultures – locally, nationally and internationally, and in the residential program
  • Ethical issues: Students learn – as they interact with others, and in classrooms and on the playing fields – to raise questions of right and wrong and seek answers that are consistent with their developing moral codes
  • Sustainability: Students think and act to promote sustainable practices
  • Service: Students serve, and through service, recognize they help themselves as well as others
  • World religions: Students appreciate the varied ways in which people around the world experience God in themselves and others and understand how religion is an important motivator of peoples around the world
  • World languages: Students demonstrate proficiency in another language

Leadership and Collaboration

  • Leadership: Students exercise ethical and responsible leadership, having developed skills rooted in frequent practice and multiple settings; these settings include – but are not limited to – classrooms, Quaker meetings and decision-making, the residential and work programs, Westtown’s ropes course, student organizations and sports teams
  • Collaboration: Students are experienced collaborative problem solvers through regular work on diverse teams solving authentic problems in conventional and innovative ways
  • Project management: Students manage collaborative projects, incorporating group input and feedback and using interpersonal and problem-solving skills to inspire others and leverage their strengths to reach a common goal
  • Discussion: Students facilitate discussion and clerk meetings in the classroom and other settings, learning when it’s appropriate to listen and when to speak
  • Qualities and characteristics: As they exercise leadership, students develop flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, productivity and accountability

Scientific and Analytical Literacy

  • Experiments: Students learn to ask the right questions that allow them to design and conduct experiments to test hypotheses they have generated
  • Analysis: Students analyze, interpret and synthesize data, including alternative points of view
  • Problem-solving: Students work individually and collaboratively to solve real-world problems
  • Interdisciplinary approaches: Students routinely rely on multiple academic disciplines as they address, understand, and propose solutions to problems


  • Persuasion: Students are experienced composers of multimedia pieces on issues of compelling need, and demonstrate effective oral, written and visual skills
  • Listening: Students listen effectively in order to decipher meaning derived from knowledge, values, information and purpose
  • Audience: Students express themselves appropriately and effectively based on purpose and audience, especially in diverse and multicultural environments
  • Public speaking: Students are practiced in speaking to an audience


  • Creative thinking: Students demonstrate original, creative and entrepreneurial thinking as they apply and implement their ideas in useful ways
  • Creative expression: Students produce creative work in the arts
  • Creative process: Students view failure as a learning opportunity, and understand the creative process as being long-term and filled with setbacks before making progress and achieving success, and while maintaining an awareness of real-world limits on implementation of new ideas
  • Self-evaluation: Students elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts

Information Literacy

  • Research: Students are knowledgeable researchers, capable of evaluating the reliability of information for specific purposes
  • Tools: Students select, evaluate and use a variety of appropriate tools – audio, video, multimedia and other – to accomplish specific goals
  • Media: Students are critical consumers as they decode and understand media that infuse our lives and culture
  • Management: Students manage and organize large amounts of information from a variety of sources, synthesizing disparate facts to create a coherent whole
  • Ethical use: Students understand and act on ethical and legal issues surrounding access and use of media and information technologies