November 18th, 2019
| This weekend Selwyn hosted a fabulous Open House, and I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with many prospective families about Selwyn’s vision. I am so excited to see our school continue to grow with events like these, but I am almost more excited to see why our school is growing—we’re forming thoughtful, well-rounded citizens through an experiential process that engages children throughout the day and throughout the years. I wanted to share with you some of the highlights from our Open House discussion about the Selwyn education process.
The journey is as important as the destination.
The results of a Selwyn education speak for themselves—you only need to take a look at our Portrait of a Graduate video or read the long list of prominent names among Selwyn alumni to see how successfully we have achieved our mission in the past sixty years. I am immensely proud of the children in this school, as well as the many graduates who have come out of this school. Selwyn graduates who are now attending college often return to us saying how well prepared they are—how their research, analysis, and study skills made college less daunting and more fun. Selwyn’s chief focus is not on the finished product, though.
Our day-to-day mission involves the process of helping children become citizens capable of critical analysis, empathy, and awareness of the ways they can directly improve their communities. We achieve this goal by engaging students in a process of joyful learning, active play, and leadership. We believe strongly that these attributes cannot be tested—they must be experienced. These experiences are key to the growth of students at Selwyn.
The journey is messy.
Learning by experience means learning to fail—and learning new, different ways to encounter the world. Selwyn’s curriculum is designed to allow students to learn, unlearn, and learn again. By de-emphasizing the “right” answer, we can teach students to appreciate why the answers we come to matter, and how to come to the best answers that will shape our society and the world around us. Above all, we want children to know why they’re learning what they’re learning, and we want to cultivate children into young adults whose curiosity never fades.
This process, while messier than the teach-review-test model many of us learned growing up, provides all of our children with the opportunity to practice leadership and service, and encourages them to take academic risks that pushes them to the edges of their ability. Invariably, I see students surprised that those edges stretch further than they ever thought possible.
The journey is individualized.
Yet, each child reaches the edges of her ability differently. If, as the saying goes, it takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round, then it fails to reason that all children should be taught the same, tested the same, and evaluated the same. Selwyn’s program keeps classes small by design: our intimate size allows us to provide children with the space and personal freedom to explore their own interests and test their boundaries at their own pace. Our curriculum provides structure and balance to engage students continually while allowing them the intellectual agency to discover what motivates them.
We have found that often what motivates students are the direct ways they can improve their lives, communities, and the world. We live in a world with a real need for forces of good. At Selwyn, we’re helping develop children who we believe are, and will be, forces for good in the world. It is possible to do well while doing good—and we challenge our children to do both. Our process encourages active leadership, stewardship of one’s community, and solution-centered problem-solving. At the end of the day, the process is as important as the product.
At Selwyn, we are building an exemplary school where the process matters. We are along for the journey for engaged and curious children in North Texas, and we are so glad that you’ve chosen—and continue to choose—Selwyn for the journey for your family.