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What is the Portrait of a Graduate?

Almost every school in America is responding to calls to reinvent education to better prepare students for an interconnected global society and rapidly changing, uncertain economy. Often these conversations include emphasizing math and science curriculum, providing more technology to students, and arbitrarily increasing rigor in schools.
 
The missed opportunity with this strategy is twofold:
  • Education leaders are focusing on “what” to do to improve schooling-- Common Core, ranking, and standardized tests-- instead of “why” we are in school to begin with.​
In other words, let’s start with the purpose of education.
 
  • Emphasis is on “learning” instead of “becoming,” and while content remains important, in an age of information abundance, the current paradigm is focusing on standardizing education for an economy that doesn’t exist anymore.  
We need passionate, creative problem-solvers to address the challenges of the future.
 
If the goal of education is “becoming,” what qualities do we value in an Evansville Day School graduate? How can we use our existing mission and core values to inform this conversation? How can we realize our vision to be the premier educational experience in delivering a real world, forward-thinking program for the global leaders of tomorrow?
 
At Evansville Day School, we recognize that in order for our students to be successful in the new global economy, we need to help them be so much more than a test score. We also recognize that no two children are the same, nor should they be. Here, we strive to help our students come to their own “a-ha” moments in ways that support each one as a whole person while also fostering the skills and qualities that are important to their futures.
Ultimately, what is needed to align our teaching and learning with our school’s mission and vision is to paint a portrait of a Day School graduate, which identifies the qualities and skills our graduates should possess. This portrait will advance our school and help our students develop into the creative problem-solvers our world needs.
 
Our Portrait of a Graduate allows us to map for 21st Century skills and to design a Day School experience that educates beyond siloed academic disciplines. It empowers our community to be innovative and to make decisions that help the school build upon its tradition, mission, and vision.