The Philosophical Pillars of Great Hearts are aphorisms in support of the core and never-changing purpose of the organization: to cultivate the hearts and minds of students through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
- We believe that the world is ordered and knowable and that the human intellect, while imperfect, can attain knowledge of reality through reason, hard work and a coherent program of study.
- We believe that truth exists, and we must seek it relentlessly by disciplined study and good-willed conversation.
- We do not dispute the usefulness of a liberal arts education, and we gladly prepare our students for college studies, but our main purpose is the formation of the heart and mind.
- Liberal education consists of cognitive, emotional and moral education—thinking deeply, loving noble things and living well together. We believe, with Plato, that the highest goal of education is to become good, intellectually and morally.
- The greatest number of our students benefit when the intellectual and moral bar is set high in the classroom. Lowering expectations is an act of misguided sympathy, not of love and mercy.
- Great Hearts academies do not deploy a “character curriculum.” Students are formed by the culture of the school, implied and explicit, and each student’s choices to lead within it.
- Teachers lead students through intelligence, charisma, humor, integrity and example—in short, through love and friendship, as modeled by Socrates.