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Old 04-10-2015, 03:59 PM
bu2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balawick View Post
Also, I thought that Westminster was more associated with intellectual, diverse, open-minded than strictly Southern, conservative, Christian - am I wrong? I imagined it would be fiscally conservative because of Buckhead area, but socially conservative as well - that's disconcerting? While Paideia definitely feels intellectual and liberal - it doesn't seem as diverse and has a cult-like feel that is hard to understand (like the name should be whispered). I would love to know more of people's personal experiences with these schools.
Paideia is different. Its liberal AND intellectual. Not just close-minded political correctness.

Lovely Summer stated her preference in so much nicer a manner. You would think she is a Southerner. (I hope I'm not insulting you LS!).
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:12 PM
 
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I like the part of southerness that has to do with trying to be nice to people. No, that's not an insult. Thanks.
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Originally Posted by bu2 View Post

Lovely Summer stated her preference in so much nicer a manner. You would think she is a Southerner. (I hope I'm not insulting you LS!).
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:57 PM
 
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@lovelysummer - these are not troll posts. It's so very complicated to understand which is a better school between Paideia and Westminster. I like the politics and non-religious aspect of paideia, but I don't understand their curriculum and for westminster, I feel the opposite. I didn't realize westminster was considered so conservative.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:41 PM
 
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Got it. I recommend searching for "private school," "westminster," "paideia," "woodward" or any other school of interest. There have been a ton threads discussing and is a phenomenal resource. More discussion than you ever wanted to read, probably!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balawick View Post
@lovelysummer - these are not troll posts. It's so very complicated to understand which is a better school between Paideia and Westminster. I like the politics and non-religious aspect of paideia, but I don't understand their curriculum and for westminster, I feel the opposite. I didn't realize westminster was considered so conservative.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Morningside, Atlanta, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balawick View Post
@lovelysummer - these are not troll posts. It's so very complicated to understand which is a better school between Paideia and Westminster. I like the politics and non-religious aspect of paideia, but I don't understand their curriculum and for westminster, I feel the opposite. I didn't realize westminster was considered so conservative.
As a Westminster grad and parent (and a moderate), conservative is not the right word for Westminster. It reflects the city and close in suburbs that send children there, so it does reflect a North Atlanta ethos, but it also reflects the many parents and families that are not from the South. There were plenty of Obama bumper stickers in the carpool line (and a majority in the senior parking lot) and the fundamentalist parents complain about the religion curriculum as much as the Jewish and Muslim parents do. The diversity of the student body reflects the generous financial aid program, but you still have the children of Atlanta's leaders, both left and right. My children went to school with Congressman Price's children and with Ralph Abernathy's grandson. The President of Morehouse's son was there, a real good kid. There are teachers who read history in a Republican way and those that teach literature in quite a liberal way. There are fundamentalist teachers and gay ones. So conservative is not quite right. It is more conservative than a similar school in New Jersey

Traditional is a much better word. If Westminster were an Ivy it would be Princeton rather than Harvard or Yale. If it were a Southern liberal arts college it would be Davidson. It has a strong honor code and places responsibility on the students to create a sense of community. There is a strong emphasis on Southern literature by both black and white authors, US history and history of the civil rights movement. They want you to learn about this place and its traditions, good and bad. There is no community service requirement: almost every club or activity has community service built in. Many people who are conservative are happy with Westminster because it is traditional. If they wanted their kids to deny evolution or hear nothing but Republican talking points, they would have chosen a different school.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:31 PM
 
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Thank you @kferq! That is informative. does know Paidiea in such thorough (and eloquent) manner?
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:14 PM
 
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@kferq -- Well stated!
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:22 AM
 
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As parents with kids in Westminster, we are not in the white, elite, Christian, Southern profile. Rather we are an Indian, Hindu professional family, with no strong political leaning, and I would considered ourselves traditional rather than liberal. My child had no trouble fitting in, found other kids extremely friendly and came across no cliques. Westminster has become increasingly diverse and tries genuinely hard to assimilate people from different walks to build a strong community. Your child is not a number. My concern however, is something completely different. Westminster has traditionally always been known for it's academically rigorous program. But I am not finding this to be the case so far, and from what I am hearing, other parents are also becoming dissatisfied with the standard of academics. It's almost as if the school is leaning more towards building its athletics, and is subtly drifting away from its academics. Perhaps outside impressions and criticism about its pressure cooker environment have caused this. I do not have enough to substantiate my gut feeling, (and worry), it comes in small things that I observe. I can only hope that Westminster is not drifting away from what it is traditionally known to be excellent for.

Last edited by snsh5713; 04-12-2015 at 06:24 AM.. Reason: grammar mistake
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:52 AM
 
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@snsh5713 - That is an interesting observation. They definitely promote their athletic program and brought out over 80 "coaches" (who also happened to be teachers) during the Open House. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Paideia, which prides itself on not focussing on competitive athletics. From an outside observer, Westminster still seems much more rigorous and academically challenging than Paideia, but I don't really know and am having a hard time figuring this out.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Morningside, Atlanta, GA
280 posts, read 305,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snsh5713 View Post
As parents with kids in Westminster, we are not in the white, elite, Christian, Southern profile. Rather we are an Indian, Hindu professional family, with no strong political leaning, and I would considered ourselves traditional rather than liberal. My child had no trouble fitting in, found other kids extremely friendly and came across no cliques. Westminster has become increasingly diverse and tries genuinely hard to assimilate people from different walks to build a strong community. Your child is not a number. My concern however, is something completely different. Westminster has traditionally always been known for it's academically rigorous program. But I am not finding this to be the case so far, and from what I am hearing, other parents are also becoming dissatisfied with the standard of academics. It's almost as if the school is leaning more towards building its athletics, and is subtly drifting away from its academics. Perhaps outside impressions and criticism about its pressure cooker environment have caused this. I do not have enough to substantiate my gut feeling, (and worry), it comes in small things that I observe. I can only hope that Westminster is not drifting away from what it is traditionally known to be excellent for.
While I do see a push to increase the standards in athletics and the arts, I don't see the decline in academic standards. They still require on practice free day every week even when the sport is in season (or it is dress rehearsal week for the play). The curriculum is at a much higher level than when I graduated especially in math, science and langauge. The Westminster curriculium has always been based on strong fundamentals of writing, reasoning and problem solving rather than large volumes of work. There has always been large amounts of reading, but if your child is quick reader then it may not seem like much. Math homework has always been a few simple problems to be sure they have the basics and a few very hard ones to work on problem solving skills. Even my child who was not talented in math never spent over an hour and a half. If your child does not write well they will end up working extremely hard as they will have to rewrite a terrible number of papers. Even my worst writer quickly graduated from that phase, and began to put papers together effortlessly.

I think there is an excellent question you raise: is this very American curriculium the best approach for all or would a more nose to the grindstone approach (seen in many Asian schools) be better for some students. The Westminster curriculum does allow flexibility for advanced classes (Multivariate calculus for example), but it is takes a special student for them to allow an extra academic class that might equal the work load at a Bachelors of Science in engineering program.
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