There is something exciting —meaningful — about a first-hand experience. No matter what the endeavor, more is revealed in the doing.
A student measures pH levels in a stream instead of a test-tube and develops an understanding not only of the concept, but also the impact of water health on an aquatic ecosystem. Another takes a crack at playing the guitar and suddenly discovers different nuances in a favorite recording. An athlete makes a game-winning shot and builds the confidence to try something on a completely different stage. Not only does experience help us learn about the subject at hand, it gives us the capacity to empathize, to discern, to critique—to master. A participatory experience helps us to truly understand.
When I first visited The Providence Country Day School, I was struck by how this school takes participation seriously. More than a possibility, participation at PCD is an expectation, and the school’s colorful community relies on faculty and students committing themselves fully across the campus. PCD soccer players star in the spring musical and AP calculus students lead dance workshops on World Arts Day.
As you browse our website, you will see what I mean. At our small school there are big opportunities for students to build their knowledge base by practicing their skills, trying new things, and testing themselves in revelatory ways. PCD students accept the challenge to stretch: to be involved completely. We know—from our own involvement and from research—that embracing these kinds of opportunities engages students more deeply in their own education and makes their learning more relevant. There are a lot of schools where students learn. At PCD they participate. In so doing, our boundaries expand and our students grow ever more prepared to step beyond them.
I invite you to explore our website and start to feel what makes a PCD education. I sensed it on my first visit and am now honored to be a part of it every day. We may have a similar impact on you. Come visit and experience it first-hand!