Literature

From story at snack-time to Advanced Placement analysis, the appreciation for story and its role in human life is integral to Brookfield Academy’s culture. At our foundation lies a deep and abiding faith in the enterprise of the humanities - to cultivate the human core, to hold the line on values of truth, beauty, and goodness. The study of literature is at the heart of the humanities. 

 

The careful study of literature gives us intimate contact with the best and the worst in human nature, the honorable and dishonorable, and provides both mirror and lamp: a mirror for self-examination and a lamp for illumination. 

 

Stories can fill us, through the strangeness of grace, with the thrill of wonder. 

 

We take great pride in the fact that our four-year-old scholars are reading by Thanksgiving. Although they may not be aware of the implications of this early gift, their initiation into the world of literacy is the beginning of a lifelong adventure, one which is at the heart of our mission. 

 

Teaching students to value literary masterpieces is our best hope of inspiring in them a willingness to enter into a conversation that demands personal attentiveness to Heritage, Intellect, Individuality, Truth, and Character: Our Five Stars

 

In the Primary School, we read to the children constantly. We select books for their character-building values. We promote and emphasize the Golden Rule and seek to cultivate a spirit of empathy both in and out of the classroom. 

 

In the Lower School, we work to expand students’ understanding of the larger world and recognize that story is key in shaping perceptions of the world.  We introduce students to literature that encourages sensitivity to different perspectives and choose stories that explore the ways that values and character can be challenged, while still promoting sound judgment and virtue. 

 

“What does it mean to read well?” is a key question throughout a student’s career and, as students move into the Middle School, they are challenged with a more mature exploration of values and the human condition. 

 

Continuing what is well-established in the other divisions, the Upper School provides a bridge from the child’s world to the adult world: We embrace the charge that we are in the business of developing students’ intellects, but we also develop the students’ emerging humanity - their values, their purpose, and their place in the world.  We move beyond teaching students and attempt to teach developing people ready for the world.

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