> INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGE
Intellectual challenge encourages students to cultivate their curiosity; to take risks with their thinking and to learn from failure and perseverance; to open up new perspectives and possibilities; to focus on how to find an answer more than what the presumed right answer may be.
At Marin Academy, our students’ curiosity propels and guides them through an intellectually challenging and academically rigorous curriculum. We cultivate their curiosity by teaching students how to explore the kinds of questions (analytical, synthetic, evaluative) that open up new perspectives and possibilities, and ultimately fresh lines of inquiry.
Our goal is not for students to arrive at the “right answer” to a question we pose, but rather to teach them how to move toward answers to questions they have generated themselves in response to the needs of the moment. Along these lines, we strive to support student curiosity and inquiry by making everyday habits of intellectual risk-taking, perseverance, and certain types of “praiseworthy” and unavoidable failure--those resulting from process complexity, hypothesis testing, exploratory testing, etc.
We set a high standard and tell students when their work falls short, but we teach our students to use this feedback as a positive, constructive, and fundamental driver of growth and learning by providing them opportunities for iteration, revision, and reflection.