Research Process Sparks Curiosity in Upper School

It is wonderful to have Upper School students back on campus and to hear their voices and laughter fill the hallways. As they start a new school year, students speak with excitement about what they will learn in each class and how they will engage actively in a wide range of content.
In each year of Upper School, students are asked to participate in the research process, beginning in the winter of ninth grade with the World History I course. As students become engrossed in the process of learning about the Roman Empire, their conversations spill out of the classrooms and into the hallways, lunch lines, and, inevitably, their dinner tables at home. As a result, students become active participants in their learning, their brains are stimulated and engaged, and they can’t help but share their newfound interests with those around them.

In each subsequent year, we build on that intellectual stimulation, expanding into other disciplines through both small and large projects. As sophomores, students research the intersection of artistic expression, power, and philosophy in Culture in Context. In their junior Biology class, they participate in active research to find new strains of antibiotics. The research process culminates in the senior year, when students explore a variety of texts related to an individual area of interest while writing their senior thesis in English.

As Head of the Upper School, I have been privileged to have conversations with students during which I have seen their excitement as they read new authors, discovered technologies about which they were previously unaware, and connected concepts which were seemingly disparate prior to the start of their process. The eager curiosity of the research process excites students and faculty alike and sparks the pursuit of active learning beyond the classroom. I am fortunate to be in an environment in which I get to engage with these vibrant intellectuals on a daily basis and in which I am able to see our mission fulfilled in our students and our graduates.