Understanding a pluralistic education

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Understanding a pluralistic education

A good place to start is thinking about what is pluralistic education. I think the basic premise of our school and the whole educational process is to honor a child for who they are. It’s helping kids find the best version of themselves and developing that. And you do that through knowing each child as an individual through awe and respect and attitude that you have towards children. You’re not fitting children around a program you’re fitting a program around children because they’re all different from each other. There’s a genius inside of each of us, and what we say is, fitting in is about being yourself. You keep who you are. There’s a consultant that worked with us many years ago who said that a lot of schools talk about honoring differences. This is the first school she’d ever seen where difference is the norm. When you think about it on a national basis, pluralism is not a made up word. Pluralism is the essence of our nation. It’s the national motto-e pluribus unum -out of many, one. The common take on that is certainly what I learned in school, that pluralism meant a melting pot where we all had to give up who we were in order to all be the same in working towards something. Our take on pluralism is that you don’t give up anything. We are that much stronger because what we do is we start with the honoring of everybody and we get everybody’s best self, everybody’s own story, keeping that in perspective. And that’s clearly what’s happened in terms of diversity and multi-culturalism and other movements that over the last 40 years since we started the school.

View Joel Pelcyger's video on Understanding a pluralistic education...


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Joel Pelcyger

Head of School

Joel Pelcyger is the Founder and Head of PS1 Pluralistic School, an elementary school for grades K-6. PS1 was founded in 1971 and is a family-oriented, independent, and non-profit school located in the heart of Santa Monica, CA.

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