Our Philosophy

“The school that has never become, but is always becoming.”

The Abdul Hamid Sharaf School is a unique, non-traditional institution. It has many characteristics that make it different from most schools. Prospective students and parents will find the following distinguishing qualities evident:

  • Encouragement of the development of self-discipline.
  • Warm, human relationships.
  • Learning by doing and understanding.
  • Reasonable amounts of homework.
  • Individualistic teaching approach.
  • Development of self-confidence.
  • Respectful treatment of students.
  • Realistic cross-section of society – all social classes and intellectual abilities.
  • Emphasis on universal values such as honesty and respect.
  • Child-centered approach in a family-style atmosphere.

However, if parents of prospective students are looking for:

1. Strict regimentation and punitive discipline,
2. Memorization as the main method of teaching-learning,
3. Hours and hours of daily homework,
4. Making all students “fit the same mold”,
5. Extreme emphasis on marks and unhealthy competition,
6. Intimidation of students and corporal punishment,
7. A narrow representation of society – only the rich, only the intelligent,


Quoting from co-founder Dr. Sue Dahdah’s doctoral dissertation, “In the Abdul Hamid Sharaf School, the needs, feelings, and characteristics of children shall be considered in the planning of learning experiences. Discipline will be an important part of the school and will be developed, but regimentation will not be allowed because it is incompatible with the nature of children. Children must be helped to develop self-discipline and to accept responsibility for their own actions. Children shall be encouraged to clarify and develop their own sets of values: honesty, respect for other people and their property, and good citizenship will be stressed.” (p. 60, Guidelines for a Model American School for Jordanians). Then on page 61, “Children should feel proud of their school as they do of their homes. School must be a warm, friendly, accepting place where nobody is afraid or threatened; where everybody feels welcome and wanted and is allowed to reach his or her fullest potential both in personality and intellectual development.” While the school has changed and evolved in the 30 plus years since its founding, its basic child-centered philosophy has not.