Ask anyone to describe a great school and “commitment to continuous improvement” will be one of the qualities on their list. The immense success of The Country Day School graduates in their post-secondary programs and careers is clear evidence that we offer a superior educational experience.
At the same time, we are deeply committed to continually improving our approach. The School's commitment to research and innovation is a driving force in our ongoing professional growth and support of the parent community.
The Growing Mind
In providing education with balance, The Country Day School focuses on three key areas: challenging the student, developing the mind and strengthening the character. In reality, these three spheres of change and growth are inseparable: they overlap in a mutually supportive manner as they contribute to the development of the whole person.
There is a regular feature inside The Link – the CDS community magazine – entitled The Growing Mind, which may at first glance appear to belong to the “developing the mind” sphere. However, like anything to do with how our minds grow and change, the articles you will find there are focused on what Aristotle called eudaimonia – human flourishing. We flourish when our needs and interests are connected and in balance. The accessible and engaging articles on topics of current research in child growth and development you will find in The Growing Mind provide knowledge that can help you and your children thrive.
The Brilliance of Play
What looks like the random and purposeless play activities of young children are anything but. In reality, the neurological pathways that build brilliant minds are under construction.
Children today spend less time than ever in play activities that they design and direct themselves – away from established rules and adult supervision. Child-directed play allows kids to establish their own (often shifting) guidelines, govern themselves and each other, and make their own discoveries – bound only by their imaginations. But this kind of unstructured play is becoming more and more rare.
Why should we care?
In short, because we are raising a generation of less creative problem-solvers. The parts of the brain potentially activated by the imaginative world of unstructured play remain dark. As a result, children can grow up to become technically and academically proficient young adults yet lack the kind of “brilliance” that lights up their own minds, helps solve today’s complex problems, and “wows” their future employers. We can’t envision the job market of the future. We do know, however, that critical thinking, creativity and an expansive imaginative capacity are required to succeed and lead in our rapidly transforming world.
Academic knowledge and technical proficiency are no longer enough. The leaders of tomorrow will need to access their creativity and imagination in order to make a difference. Brilliance is required – and that means brains built on play.