The core beliefs and educational philosophy that guide CDF Freedom Schools and all CDF youth development programs are:
- All children are capable of learning and achieving at high standards.
- Culture and community conditions influence child learning.
- Appreciation and knowledge of one’s culture engenders self worth and the ability to live in community with others.
- Education, teachers, and mentors are transformative agents.
- Literacy is essential to personal empowerment and civic responsibility.
- Effective teaching requires planning, creativity, and implementation, with reflection and processing.
- Learning communities that offer a sense of safety, love, caring, and personal power are needed for transformative education.
- Classroom discipline and management are integral parts of instructional practice.
- Parents are crucial partners in children’s learning and need supports to become better parents.
- As citizens, children and adults have the power to make a difference in their communities and be advocates for themselves.