Mission, History, and People
The House of Study was founded in 1997 with a mission to study issues in education and promote activities concerned with that study. The founders were group of independent school teachers and administrators, including our current president, Daniel J. Kramarsky.
In the 1990s through the turn of the millennium, and with invaluable assistance from K-12 and university colleagues too numerous to list, our philosophy of study was developed as a viable alternative to the polarizing discourse of the educational left and right. We came to believe that, through a commitment to study, schooling could regain many things that seemed lost under other conceptions: an ethical center, an unerring focus on the student, a commitment to learning rather than evaluation, and an understanding of the teacher as an expert professional doing work necessary to the very survival of the human species.
The philosophy of study evolved in two directions (again, thanks to the invaluable input of numerous teachers, students, and professors, especially those in the philosophy and education department at Columbia University Teachers College). The ethical/philosophical direction is grounded in virtue theory, notably in the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, Annette Baier, Iris Murdoch and others. Meanwhile, the practical direction, always in the service of the ethical, evolved into a three-part theory of attention, reflective dialogue, and interpretation, which eventually gave rise to our commitments to curriculum, care, and community.
Most recently, The House of Study has begun an effort to popularize our philosophy and to investigate how it dovetails with the most effective practices in top schools. We have recruited an advisory board of professionals from public schools, independent schools, and universities with experience in teaching, administration, policymaking, and research. We plan to professionally develop a cadre of senior faculty who will speak the language of study to their students and colleagues, and along the way reinvigorate their own practice with renewed passion and commitment.
For more information on professional development and consulting, please browse the relevant areas of this website.