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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

Episcopal School of Dallas

A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

Examining and Elevating Education:
Dr. Boberg's Blog

As the Academic Dean of The Episcopal School of Dallas, Dr. Eric Boberg is charged with articulating, overseeing, and leading ESD’s learning and teaching priorities, promoting ESD’s Mission, supporting a system of practice that attracts and retains exemplary educators, and implementing and refining a professional growth system for faculty. Boberg earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has his MBA from TCU’s Neeley School of Business and his Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

If you have a question about ESD's curriculum or trends in education, please email Dr. Boberg. He will post answers to common questions here.

 

The Guiding Force of our ESD Hallmarks

A few years ago, The Episcopal School of Dallas engaged in a three-year process of deep, deliberate inquiry to uncover, clarify, and articulate its essence. The ESD community--its students, teachers, alumni, parents, staff--related important stories from the past and present, and despite their wide array of varying specifics, the accumulating narrative evinced four motifs.

These four themes that emerged were almost universally known: they were the latent goals that everyone strove to achieve, they composed the implicit guiding force that everyone felt, and they served as pieces of the fabric that everyone saw in the school and its members. The process, however, resulted in a very important outcome: uncovering these implicit features that ESD develops in the pursuit of its mission. Now they continue to serve as four explicit hallmarks that paint the portrait of a graduate, a teacher, a course, or a program. 

Each of the following hallmarks provides ESD with a big idea, a guiding question, and a set of outcomes to help students, teachers, and administrators focus on what is essential. Combined, they function as a meta-rubric for future development and assessment of every facet of our school.

Academic Rigor and Excellence. ESD promotes enduring understanding through classroom experiences and real-world applications that involve learners in the in-depth discovery and development of their talents, skills, and acquired knowledge. At ESD, learners--both teachers and students--ask, "How can I demonstrate my learning?" Through this partnership of learning, students and teachers begin to think flexibly as they encounter increasingly complex, ambiguous, and thought-provoking educational experiences. They draw upon higher order cognitive and soft skills to develop questions and address problems. They become more and more comfortable taking responsible risks as they persevere through experiences that challenge their competence and comfort on their way to academic success. Most importantly, learners reflect on their learning and remain open to continuous learning.

Strong Sense of Community. ESD provides strong community-based support and shared goals that help students develop an understanding of and appreciation for the strengths and challenges of the broader community. We ask our teachers and students "how they can share in their learning," not merely the product of their learning but the process and discovery itself. This community-based approach requires interdependent thinking and listening with understanding and empathy as individuals collaborate as teams, and it requires learners to communicate effectively across varying media to a wide range of audiences and purposes. These team-based approaches in the classroom, in clubs, during community service, and as part of global travel encourage students to strive to understand and appreciate difference while recognizing the dignity of every human being. Combined, these learning outcomes empower our students and teachers to take individual and collective action to redress communal concerns that demonstrate their growing global competence and service to those in need.
Faith-informed Foundation of Values. Building upon our Episcopal identity, Founding Tenets, and Code of Conduct, ESD presents students with value-based decision-making and leadership opportunities that help each student develop a strong belief system, an educated conscience, and a guiding moral compass. Whether in the classroom, at Wolf Run, in advisory, on a community service outing, or in a club activity, ESD students and teachers wonder "why their learning and their involvement matter." Although apparent external demands--to graduate high school, to attend a good college, to enter a career--often guides or compels the educational experience, we want our students to make purposeful, value-laden decisions. Therefore, our programs aim to increase our students' understanding that leadership involves moving a common mission forward through engagement, empowerment, and service as students begin to articulate their core faith beliefs and their educated conscience, to apply moral reasoning, and to take responsibility for their actions as ethical citizens.

Understanding of Self. ESD nurtures each student's individual talents and skills by providing opportunities for those individual traits to flourish and develop in numerous settings and through myriad experiences. Our mission embraces and appreciates the full range of human experience in each of our members. Our students are artists and scholars and athletes and leaders and members of caring, civic-minded communities that seek to make a difference. Therefore, we ask each of our members to ask "how their learning and experiences help them to understand themselves better" as human beings in search of purposeful, fulfilling lives, not merely as test scores or community service hours or grades. Our students and teachers are lifelong learners on journeys of self-discovery. ESD creates and maintains activities, relationships, and programs that encourage students to develop their own self-awareness and discipline through introspection and action. We encourage all learners to come to know their own strengths and challenges as they embrace opportunities for both success and growth. We also encourage them to become health conscious as they learn to successfully manage their own self-care and develop mindfulness.

These four aspects of our program, which developed organically over the course of 40 years and are now made explicit, serve as the hallmarks that paint the portrait of an ESD graduate, teacher, project, club, or class. They serve as an umbrella rubric that guides and informs all of the focused courses and programs that have their own discipline-based and developmentally appropriate big ideas, skills, and content. And these hallmarks and their associated icons remind us of both our legacy and our future. 
Posted by Julie A. Clardy on Monday September, 12, 2016
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Lower School

4344 Colgate Avenue
Dallas, Texas, 75225
214-353-5818

Middle & Upper School

4100 Merrell Road
Dallas, Texas, 75229
214-358-4368

Wolf Run Ranch

located near Anna, Texas

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