1973 - when I started asking questions, like, "Why are we all dressed so funny?"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Typical (?) Graduate

Aristotle wisely observed that small errors in the beginning lead to huge ones over time. Hence, a question: Just what are we hoping for in our students? How will they be changed by four years at our school? What will be some observable qualities in an average graduate? Here are some thoughts -- please add your own comments, observations and criticisms.

1. Students will still be curious. My experience is as follows: By the time I left high school, I was hedonistic and nihilistic. Sure, natural tendencies contributed to this, but I can recall no compelling alternatives. Question: How do we create a place where reason flourishes and human needs are thorougly addressed?

2. Students will not be sceptical. I see our school as "inquiry-based" in some sense. Yet inquiry can become circular -- questions lead to further questions, which lead to further questions.... How can we help students discern that the Mystery is ultimately positive? Or to put it slightly differently, How do we ensure they know that unresolved questions don't mean answers don't exist?

3. Students will trust their experience. We will all make mistakes and perhaps some grievious errors, but how to get students to compare the contents of their hearts with their lives?

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