Habits of Mind & Heart

Upper School students during a seminar discussion

Character education has been an integral component of Whitfield’s college preparatory curriculum throughout its history. Our school's commitment to character and community are exemplified by the Habits of Mind & Heart program.



At the center of Whitfield's mission is our commitment to character education through the Habits of Mind & Heart curriculum.

At the core of our school are people of integrity, vision, humor and generosity. Our common goal is the growth of every member of the community, beginning with students, but also including teachers, parents and alumni. We have pulled this goal into the center of the curriculum, because we see it as essential both to the academic success of our students and to their happiness and productivity as citizens of our school community, St. Louis, and the world.

We at Whitfield believe that strength of character and self-confidence are critically important to success in life.  The Habits of Mind & Heart curriculum encourages critical reflection for academic and personal growth, deepens social and emotional intelligence, and shapes the personal strengths of our students so that they have the resilience and moral awareness to be effective citizens and leaders.


Ethical Conduct
We believe in a personal commitment to mindful action. Today's high-tech students are connected and empowered in ways previously undreamed of, and it matters deeply that they uphold their ethical obligations to self, family, and community.

We practice a willingness to see things as they are, not as we want them to be, as well as a willingness to be curious, present and accepting.

Cultural Competence
Our student body represents all of St. Louis and much of the world. This rich diversity deepens the learning experience of every student and the preparation of each for college and beyond.

We create opportunities for all students to develop as leaders, allowing them to make a difference, take a stand and become role models for others.

Through the practice of dialogue, equity and justice, we help students become engaged members of our school community as well as the other communities to which they belong.

We challenge our students to seek deeper understanding, to make connections and draw conclusions, and to lean the discipline of a scholar. Teachers serve as facilitators of the learning process, while students engage in the pursuit, applications and creation of knowledge.


The Advisory Program is the primary avenue for delivering the Habits of Mind & Heart curriculum and is integral to social and emotional learning. Through work completed during Advisory classes, students foster an appreciation of their own strengths as well as those of others in their class. Throughout the year students build trusting relationships with one another and with their Advisor. Click the "Curriculum" button below to learn more about Advisory curriculum.