Preparing Boys for Life.

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Experiential learning: Intellectual Curiosity Day
Amanda Vos Strache, Upper School History

Intellectual Curiosity Day offers The Haverford School's young men a chance to engage in day-long classes that are experiential, interdisciplinary, and thought-provoking. Given a respite from daily lessons in traditional classrooms, they worked with peers across all grade levels, studied with faculty members they otherwise might not have known well, and reached outside their own interests to explore new ideas.

The School administration continues to explore innovative approaches to education, including seeking more opportunities for collaborative planning, interdisciplinary thinking, and place- and project-based learning. The faculty of the Upper School Interdisciplinary Committee developed a template for various lessons and served as a sounding board during activity planning. Teachers were encouraged to work with others for whom schedule and curriculum do not ordinarily align and to design lessons that would be engaging, educational, and most importantly, interesting to the boys.

Teachers were encouraged to work with others for whom schedule and curriculum do not ordinarily align and to design lessons that would be engaging, educational, and most importantly, interesting to the boys. One group explored correlations between fundamental principles of mathematics and art while creating a mural.

One group explored the city of Philadelphia, looking at classical architecture and its influence on buildings in Philadelphia, while another participated in a scavenger hunt at the Mutter Museum. Another got a behind-the-scenes look at Philadelphia sports teams, visiting front offices and exploring business models and scouting reports that help teams be successful.

The head of information services collaborated with a college counselor to teach the boys healthy practices involving mindfulness, yoga, and nutrition. Other groups who stayed on campus explored Cuban dance, learned a song from the musical Hamilton while learning about founding father Alexander Hamilton, and explored correlations between fundamental principles of mathematics and art while creating a mural.


Given a respite from daily lessons in traditional classrooms, they worked with peers across all grade levels, studied with faculty members they otherwise might not have known well, and reached outside their own interests to explore new ideas.

Upper School math teacher Travis Loving traveled with students to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. He said, "It was a powerful day. The thought that went into the making of the museum is beyond reproach. Most of the boys who went on the trip were either not born yet or were around 1 or 2 years old in 2001, so it was great to help them never forget."

The day was not without its setbacks as a technical failure on the R-5 delayed groups heading into the city, and unseasonably warm weather hindered the survival skills group from building a fire. Overall, the day was a success, with students buzzing about their activities and already asking what will be offered next year. V Former Joe Dignazio said, "I look forward to attending another session where I can see the real life applications and career paths in a myriad of job professions and opportunities in the Philadelphia area."


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