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Francis W. Parker School
ISACS Membership status: Fully Accredited Member School

Address: 330 West Webster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
Telephone: (773) 353-3000
Fax: (773) 549-4669
Web site:
Grade Levels: K-12
Enrollment: 943
Boarding/Day: Day
Gender: Coed
School Description:

In 1901, Colonel Francis Wayland Parker established a revolutionary approach to education when he founded Francis W. Parker School. Referred to as the Father of Progressive Education by the great philosopher John Dewey, Parker's approach emphasized the social nature of learning as well as understanding the developmental needs of children within the context of the larger needs of society. He created courses of study that developed the natural interests of children to learn from and with each other. This child-centered approach presumes that an understanding and appreciation of the child's social and emotional development, capabilities and viewpoint are prerequisite to engagement. Parker's idea was to integrate the curriculum so that academic subjects would not be taught in isolation, thereby making them more meaningful. He believed it was important to provide students with opportunities to learn through experiences rather than by wrote memorization. He wanted his school to nourish students' abilities to communicate, participate and collaborate with each other and their teachers. Colonel Parker believed that in a diverse community of learners, exposing students to a range of academic and extracurricular activities would cultivate their individual talents and passions. In turn, these activities and ideas would connect the student and the school with the outside world. By founding our school, Parker offered a unique alternative to the schools of his day. More than a century later, Francis W. Parker School maintains this philosophy and holds a distinctive leadership position as Chicago's premier progressive educational institution. Throughout all its 14 grade levels, Parker students are learning by doing, studying through cross-disciplinary curricula and social interactions, learning collaboratively in a diverse community of their peers and linking ideas in the classroom to the world. Teachers compel each student to embrace the highest levels of knowledge, power, service skill and accomplishment. As students progress through their time at Parker, the development of character and competencies for citizenship in a democratic society are at the core of their learning process.

55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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