The principle of learning by practice underlies every major feature of a Bennington education: the master-apprentice model of teaching and learning; the requirement that students direct the course of their own education; the winter Field Work Term, which gives students work experience and connects them to the greater community. The College's commitment to learning across the disciplines extends to the faculty, who teach what is uppermost in their minds, exploring new pursuits as well as ongoing areas of study and work. Bennington is grounded in the conviction that as a college education develops students' professional capacities, it should also prepare them to be deeply thoughtful and actively engaged citizens of the world.
A Bennington education—and Bennington College itself—holds several principles in creative tension: freedom and responsibility; individuality and community; independence and collaboration; reflection and action; rigor and expression; excellence, resilience, and an impulse toward meaning and truth. These elements are the constants at an institution that seeks, through ongoing inquiry, to always sustain and exercise its capacity for renewal.
From its earliest beginnings, the College tended to draw a different kind of faculty to its gates-innovators and experimenters. On these lawns Martha Graham and her colleagues made modern dance history. The pioneering psychologist Erich Fromm taught here, as did the man known as the father of modern management, Peter Drucker. Today's faculty continues that tradition of esteemed practitioners, including renowned evolutionary scientist Bruce Weber, choreographer Dana Reitz, director Lloyd Richards, essayist Edward Hoagland, and others.
As you might expect, the students who pass through Bennington tend to be doers as well. Throughout its history, the College has seen its graduates make a difference in the worlds they inhabit. Often, they excel in multiple fields: Architects are teachers, biologists sculpt; sociologists may work on Wall Street or do graphicdesign. People who go to Bennington tend to lead interesting and varied lives, to remain curious about the world they live in and adventurous about exploring it.