The European School was founded in 1989 by its Director, Anne Aronson, who longed to see in her adopted country of Costa Rica a school emphasizing the Liberal Arts and the Humanities, such as she had known during her formative years in France and in her university education at the Sorbonne in Paris. The mother of five, Anne set out to establish an innovative, literature-based educational program that recognizes each student as an entire being, with different gifts and limitations, needs and abilities, and hopes for the future.
“Miss Anne” has long held the belief that young minds thrive when they are nurtured in a caring and stimulating environment that offers a broad range of social and intellectual challenges: one which gives students of every age the opportunity to learn how to think as opposed to what to think. Too often, in her opinion, were students forced into inappropriate “molds” by schools and teachers obsessed with conventional criteria of intellectual achievement.
From these convictions, The European School and its unique philosophy of humanistic education were born. In a small country house, Miss Anne, with a group of teachers and students, began a school devoted to the challenging task of educating the “entire” child. While holding academic excellence as its standard, The European School at the same time allows its students freedom and opportunity to achieve that excellence in an individualized way –with mature, morally attuned, self-confident graduates as a result.
Key to the philosophy and approach to learning at The European School is its use of integrated teaching. From kindergarten through third grade, children learn the basic skills by working in various themes throughout the year. From fourth to tenth grades, a central theme unifies and interrelates academic work in literature, history, geography and art, through the broader perspective of a given geographical area or historical period. The result is a global, cultural and historical education that engages students in a way that few other schools do.