Mission & Values

Mission

Catlin Gabel supports inspired learning leading to responsible action through dedicated teaching, caring relationships, a challenging curriculum, and community service. We value each person's effort, imagination, and positive contributions to the community. We celebrate being inclusive and the partnership between family and school.

Core Values

Values that guide teaching & learning at Catlin Gabel

Relationships

Good teaching and learning hinge on the quality of the relationships in the classroom. Students learn in a social context that colors their experience and directly affects their learning. Teachers understand that relationships provide fertile ground for learning, and strive to create the kind of classroom in which students are free to discuss, disagree, formulate ideas, and wonder. When teachers and students form healthy bonds, there are few limits to the learning that can take place.

Spirit of Inquiry

Our approach supports students' open inquiry, independent thinking, and respect for diverse views. This spirit of inquiry lies at the very heart of a well-educated person. Educator John Dewey asserted that the purpose of a good education is more education. We agree. We leave room for student questions, and we foster curiosity, openness to differing perspectives, and the desire to keep learning—lasting benefits of a good education.

Community

Children and young adults learn to become competent, caring, and contributing people in a place that is a community as well as a school. There is room for the experiences and perspectives of all students to be included. Students learn how to work together as part of a larger whole, and to be good citizens. Feeling connected to teachers and to one another helps them become good people and good learners at the same time.

Diversity & Inclusion

We believe a diverse community is integral to maintaining a relevant, future-focused school. A community of diverse learners with different perspectives and life experiences is essential for deep learning and real-world preparation. We foster an environment in which students and adults are curious and supportive, and strive to recognize each person for their unique contributions.

Critical & Creative Thinking

Our teaching aims to help students use their minds well, to be independent thinkers accustomed to thinking critically and deeply. Creativity is expressed in many different realms and is essential in contemporary society. We want to create conditions that support students to know the power of their own ideas, develop new-to-them ways of doing things, be able to think inventively, and reason well and critically assess ideas and events.

Experiential Learning

We value experiential education, the idea that people learn by doing, not simply by being told. This means that students learn through real and direct exposure to places, events, and people. Hands-on lab experiments, outdoor education, field trips, lab work in science, creating music, and directing a one-act play—these are all expressions of our belief that experiential education makes learning come alive.

Integrity

We want students to learn to live in concert with their values, and to do so with honesty, confidence, and courage. Our approach gives students freedom to explore their own core beliefs, then test and revise them—all within the context of a supportive community. Helping students develop integrity and understand its value is an important goal at Catlin Gabel.

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |
info@catlin.edu

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We welcome more than 100 new families annually to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.

A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

Extensive support ensures our students are successful.

Learn about Catlin Gabel news and events on campus and beyond.

We foster a community that appreciates our differences and recognizes our essential unity

Every gift benefits our students. Every volunteer hour builds our community.

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