“Soka” is a contraction of “sozo kachi”, meaning “creation of value” in Japanese. The Soka Education principles were first formulated by the Japanese educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944), a contemporary and supporter of many of the John Dewey’s educational principles. The main ideas of Soka Education are centered on creating value in the lives of students, community and society.
The School will embrace an inspiring school culture based on a value-creating philosophy and positive character-building system through understanding and implementing the core tenets of the Soka philosophy:
To implement this philosophy, the students will pursue academic achievement and be personally responsible for their success. Our students will persevere in their learning, respect self and others, peacefully resolve conflicts, and protect the natural environment. They will be constantly encouraged to implement and recognized for implementing the school’s 9 key virtues (the Soka virtues) in their lives: creation of beauty, scholarship, courage, perseverance, improvement, integrity, respect, friendship, and service. The school’s community, including staff, parents and students will share and celebrate these tenets in every day school life and communications as well as through traditions, rituals and assemblies. The broader community will be positively influenced by the School’s struggle against violence and for effective energy conservation initiatives.
A comprehensive character education and ethics curriculum will be taught during morning Advisory periods every day and in every grade. Lessons will progress from situational ethics, peaceful conflict resolution, an explicit anti-bullying program, and practical application of the school’s key virtues, in the lower grades, to intensive study of ethical philosophy in grades 11 and 12. Every student will assemble, maintain, and periodically review, a character, ethics and personal growth portfolio under the guidance of his or her advisor.
The proficiency in understanding and practicing of the Soka virtues will be evaluated by the advisors using the yearly student portfolios demonstrating how the students created value in their lives and the lives of others.