I wrote this list specifically for staff, faculty, and trustees of Quaker schools. I expect that more will be added to it overtime. We have a lot of learning and teaching to do if we are going to bring up a base level knowledge and appreciation of the principles and practices of the Quaker tradition and what they have to do with being Quaker schools (if anything)?
Given the ongoing changes & challenges our institutions face, I do not believe we can leave the Quaker ethos of our schools to chance, or one “Quaker” person who is responsible to sustain and maintain the Quaker traditions in these organizations. We need their support. Learning about complex religious traditions and translating what that means for the rest of us is done best with those who are knowledgeable, patient, and good at the work of connecting dots for people. But I am advocating more of a systems approach to strengthening the Quaker tradition – one in which we all take some responsibility.
To maintain the wisdom of the Quaker tradition within schools and organizations we all need to lend a hand. Responsibility belongs to all of us if we want this ethos to continue and to be vibrant. We of course are not required to do this. Like all wisdom traditions, Quakerism does not press itself upon us. It is there if we want it and will eventually fade if we do not. However, the deeper our understanding and participation in the knowledge of this shared tradition, the more internalized it will be. The more, I believe, we will find within it keys that help our institutions thrive.
But for starters, I want to outline some resources for faculty, staff, and trustees who might be very new to Quakerism.
- Quakerism 101: A Very Basic Introduction with Suggested Readings – This is my post outlining a lot of basic readings and links.
- Visit Quaker.org for a nice overview, glossary and tons of links. This site is geared towards those who do not know but are interested in learning more.
- See QuakerSpeak.org for hundreds of short films about various Quaker topics.
- Listen to Thee Quaker Podcast – A great, well produced podcast aimed at introducing Quaker thought
Introductory Books and Resources for Staff, Faculty, and Trustees
- The A to Z of the Friends (Quakers)
- The Quaker: A Very Short Introduction by Pink Dandelion
- Silence and Witness: The Quaker Tradition by Michael L. Birkel
- The Quaker World Edited by C. Wess Daniels and Rhiannon Grant
- Quakerism: The Basics By Margery Post Abbott, Carl Abbott
More Advanced Quaker Studies
- The Cambridge Companion to Quakerism Edited Stephen W. Angell and Pink Dandelion
- A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation by Douglas Gwyn
Board Specific Books
The books below can be found on Friends Council of Education.
- Principles of Good Practice: For Boards and Every Terustee of Quaker Organizations – Friends Council of Education
- Principles of Good Practice: For Friends School Boards & Every Friends School Trustee
- Governance Handbook for Friends Schools (Second Edition) – Friends Council On Eduction & Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
Board Discussion / Presentation
Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions for further resources.
*some affiliate links included in this post.