Pluralism on Campus
People often ask, what does pluralism look like on campus? Pluralism is intentional. It is at the heart of everything we do at PS1. It starts at the very beginning of the year when each teacher writes what they honor, value, and cherish about each student in their classroom in order to help shape his or her guidance and support throughout the year. It continues when we celebrate one another’s learning during Circle Time assemblies and Open House, and still when we acknowledge each child at Graduation and Moving Up Day. It is how we recognize students for the good choices they make on the playground, and how we teach students to engage in respectful dialogue—even when they disagree! PS1 students are in the habit of actively engaging with one another in order to recognize and appreciate both their similarities and their differences.
The 2015 Graduating class at PS1 memorialized a quote from A.A. Milne as their parting gift to the school: “The things that make me different are the things that make me.” During a Youngers class council meeting this year, students (ages 5-6) discussed the concept of Pluralism. After reading a small excerpt from Dr. Seuss’s book, Happy Birthday to You, the students contemplated what the word “pluralism” means. It’s remarkable to see their emerging understandings of complex ideas, and we know the rest of their time at PS1 will continue to develop and deepen their understanding of this core value.
It means that everybody is different and you have way different brains. I think that’s good.
You are what you are and nobody can change you.
People have different thoughts. I think different things than other people. I can still be friends with someone who thinks different things.
I think pluralism means there’s lots of different kinds of people from all over the world.
I think that it means everyone joins together as a community.
Pluralism means that there’s nobody in the world who is exactly the same as you.
I think pluralism is a really big community that is helping to build an even bigger community.
Pluralism means everyone learns different things, has different thoughts and has their own mind.
I think it means that when you are born you are born in many ways of being different. It’s important because if you think different, you can come up with really good ideas.
I think everything is different. Like the trees are different, all the animals are different, and all the people are different.
Pluralism means there’s a whole bunch of different people and being different is a good thing. It’s boring if you’re all the same.