Transformational Learning will Transform the Student Experience

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

In my previous President’s Perspective, I introduced Go Boldly, Hill-Murray’s new strategic plan. Going forward, I will use my bi-weekly communication to delve deeper into the plan’s details.

I feel it’s essential to articulate the Go Boldly vision clearly and will continue to do so throughout the coming months and years. I’m confident you’ll see positive changes in how we teach, how the school looks, and our students’ overall experience at Hill-Murray.  Times of significant change affords a unique opportunity to pause and ask what school can be for our students in the future.

With this as the backdrop, let’s begin with the first of Go Boldly’s five strategic pillars, Transformational Learning. 

What is the goal of transformational learning? 

The goal is to offer rich and diverse learning experiences within and beyond the traditional classroom. Experiences that challenge students ignite their passion and reveal their talents.

Through volumes of research, we know that deep and authentic learning can only truly happen when students feel a sense of belonging and safety,  both hallmarks of Catholic education.  Our goal is to create an atmosphere inside our walls where students can find balance and grow in their strengths. This is the type of setting that facilitates intellectual, social and emotional growth and ultimately transforms lives.  As a Catholic school this transformation is deeply rooted in our faith and inspires students to discover purpose and meaning in their lives, especially  in service to others and the world 

Our Benedictine and Lasallian traditions provide us guidance in how to nurture and support students as we help them deepen their passions, curiosity, and develop ownership over their learning.  

What does transformational learning look like? 

It takes some imagination because this type of learning is happening in student’s minds and hearts more than in their classrooms. But here are a few things to think about. 

We want students to have a greater voice, choice, and the chance to explore their passions in the world and we will emphasize mastery of authentic and relevant skills over memorization of content.

By the time they graduate all students will:

  • Be supported in their faith journey as they grow and mature over time in their understanding of the values, beliefs and actions that define their path in life. 
  • Have a portfolio of credentialed transformational learning experiences that reflect a journey of growth during their years at Hill-Murray. Creativity, curiosity, collaboration and critical thinking will be woven through the curriculum.
  • Experience a sense of belonging and inclusion during their time at Hill-Murray.

The challenge in all of this is to help each student find his or her passion and understand a sense of their calling in life. For some, it may happen quickly; for others, the journey will take time. But know that in the end we will focus on the whole child —rather than a myopic sense of achievement described only by letter grades. 

Our students deserve the very best from us. As a community built on trust, care and high expectations,  we are committed to the hard work it takes to provide the kind of learning environment that will connect and empower our students.

I’m confident in the coming years you will see what a paradigm shift a transformational learning approach can have on education. I’m very excited about the future and believe we are on a profound path that will positively impact every Pioneer who calls Hill-Murray home.