The Head of School at my daughter's wonderful new Friends School (not linked to maintain the slightest bit of privacy) shared an article by Ron Miller about the essence of Quaker Education. [Miller's view is just one, of many complicated ideas - The Friends Council on Education provides a more comprehensive overview.]
The idea that all individuals have a connection to God, and that through silence we develop our inner resources and conscience resonates with me, despite my total lack of religiousity. I LOVE Quaker meeting, which is like a big group meditation but includes some "queries" to guide the group thinking and a clear sense of people (kids, in our case) chewing on things. Unlike a more Eastern meditation, the goal does not seem to be clearing ones' mind but rather letting those deeper thoughts that are so often pushed down against the clutter of daily life come to the surface. Whatever it is, I find it to be both peaceful and inspiring to be in silence with children -- my children -- and I love that silence is appreciated in their schooling lives.
Miller's site has a huge amount of resources -- his articles, articles written by others on the topic of holistic education (a much broader topic than Friends education) and a huge list of links and resources for a child-centered educational revolution.