Every student. Every heart. Every mind. Known. Inspired. Challenged.
Those nine words define who we are and clearly state what we stand for. If we are living our mission, then the competencies that are detailed in our Portrait of a BT Graduate should be easily identifiable in our students as they learn and grow.
A key part of the portrait is the adoption of a global mindset. This manifests in an inquiry-based approach to learning that positions students as practitioners rather than consumers. Flipping classrooms to a dynamic, interactive space, where conceptual learning is the focus, stimulates curiosity, critical thinking, and problem solving. Students of all ages respond to engaging classroom activities, collaborative opportunities, and assignments that force them to re-evaluate what they think they know. The principles and related practices guide every member of our community in how they can support learning that fosters global citizenship at every age and grade level.
At Brownell Talbot, teaching and learning is guided by principles, not constrained by rules. Our principles empower our teachers to grow individually as educators and apply their learning to what happens in the classroom while also honoring our collective learning system and BT’s mission and vision. These principles guide our daily choices in the classroom:
Learning is a process of making meaning and must be driven by a clear, intentional sense of purpose with which learners can connect. Learners are more engaged when they are convinced by “the why.” We are committed to purposeful learning that helps learners make meaning that is relevant to them.
We are a social species. For us, learning is not only cognitive, it is also a deeply personal, social, and emotional process. Human relationships are a key influencer of learner success and our interpersonal communications and actions matter in the lives of our students. We work hard to truly know our learners, to hear them, understand them and advocate for them. We create social environments in which learners feel safe to take risks and to be themselves.
Everyone can learn and has the right and responsibility to do so. Everyone learns differently and we all, students and adults, own our learning. We are committed to the intentional teaching of “learning how to learn” and to leading and managing our own professional learning.
We know that we learn by making connections and that learning transfer happens best in rich, relevant contexts. Our learners engage with authentic content that really matters and we intentionally support learners in the process of transferring learning across contexts.
We are a species that is naturally curious. We learn through a lifelong process of playfulness, wondering, questioning, exploring, and reflecting. Our learning is an ongoing “spiral” of connecting ideas, constructing concepts, and contributing to our learning. Inquiry-based learning approaches are at the heart of our agreed pedagogy.
Our shared learning principles translate into practices for learners, teachers, leaders, and parents/guardians. These practices help us create an environment that supports learning and student engagement and aligns our work toward our common goal of knowing, inspiring, and challenging every student’s mind and heart.The practices will evolve over time as we continue to challenge our students’ abilities to think critically and globally.
The practices are structured to address three critical areas of learning:
"We understand that..."
"We are able to..."
"We can become more..."
Standards of Excellence
Each content area's curriculum is reviewed annually for minor modifications based on quantitative and qualitative data and feedback. However, a major review of each content area occurs every five years as part of BT's curriculum review cycle. Changes determined during the content area review will be implemented in the following school year.
Common Ground Collaborative
Common Ground Collaborative is an international collaborative where all institutional members are like-minded in their goal to identify the pedagogical practices that support the school’s common principles of learning at all levels - in BT’s case, age 3 through grade 12.
Brownell Talbot is accredited through ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States), Cognia, and AdvancED.