“What if education were more about cultivating the dispositions and habits of mind that students will need for a lifetime of learning, problem solving and decision making. We need to focus more on schooling as an enculturative process that cultivates dispositions of thinking.’
This quote from the 2022 book ‘Intellectual Character’ (Ron Ritchhart, Harvard GSE) has influenced much of the learning vision I have sought to imbue within our College ethos over the years. In very summary form the core dispositions of thinking (now expanded on in our College Learner Attributes) have been:
1. Creative thinking: looking out, up, around, and about
2. Reflective thinking: looking within
3. Critical thinking: looking at, through, and in between
Seeking truth and understanding
As I sign off with a lifetime of wonderful and treasured memories of so many amazing students and their families, as well as staff colleagues, I thank all present and past members of the College learning community for your partnership in our quest to help every one of our students develop their own best possible foundations for lifelong happiness, achievement and contribution to making a better world for all.
At the heart of this is possessing well-developed higher-order thinking skills.
My final message to all Junior School students at this week’s LIVE@Elphin was from the picture book, ‘What to do with a Problem’:
“A problem is really an opportunity to learn and grow. To be brave. To do something. Look for opportunities – some only come once. Every problem has an opportunity for something good. You just have to look for it.”
Best wishes to all for an enjoyable school holiday break and for the future.
‘Climb mountains while you may, and sing your songs,
Start living every day, it won’t be long before you turn around
And wonder where life’s gone.’
Head of Junior School