Gray Matters, December 2021
The Critical Importance of Progressive Pedagogy
I don’t know about you, but during this season, I need as much hope and joy as I can get. Thankfully, I have the privilege of spending my days with young people and educators at Capitol Hill Day School. When the weather feels bleak, when the latest Covid news feels disconcerting, I take what I call a “walkabout.” I get up from my desk, leave my laptop in my office, and I go visit classrooms. Nothing provides me with more joy or gives me a better sense of hope than watching children engage in learning.
Capitol Hill Day School is a joyful learning environment. As I move through our buildings the warm hellos I receive never fail to lift my spirits. The eager engagement that I observe always leaves me with a sense of pride and gratitude. Most importantly my walkabouts renew my faith in this generation of young people and my strong belief in the teaching and learning at our School.
In my walkabouts I see learners of all ages thinking deeply about topics and critically about concepts. I see groups of students engaged in analytical discussions and collaboratively struggling to solve problems, build, and create. I witness children thoughtfully negotiate conflict and intently explore identity.
The societal challenges looming in front of us, challenges that call on our hopefulness, do not have simple solutions. The tenants of our progressive philosophy intentionally prepare students to face these challenges as informed citizens. Through their tenure at Capitol Hill Day School, students learn that finding solutions takes collaborative critical thinking, innovation, and creativity, and that solutions demand morality, empathy, justice, and equity—all things we strive to teach our young learners and leaders. Because of this, I feel strongly about the critical importance of our progressive pedagogy.
Year in and year out I watch Capitol Hill Day School students graduate with a strong sense of self, a deep love of learning, and a genuine care for others. I am very hopeful for our future. I have tremendous faith in these young people to meet challenges that lay ahead.
December 16 Head’s Coffee - “The Critical Importance of Progressive Pedagogy”
To hear more on the themes of this Gray Matters please join Jason at his December Java hosted on Zoom. Zoom information is available in the December 5 Weekly Update communication.