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Mission Moment: Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Learning

Shipley’s mission states that as a School, Shipley is “…committed to educational excellence and dedicated to developing in each student a love of learning and a compassionate participation in the world. Through a strong college preparatory curriculum in the humanities and sciences, the School encourages curiosity, creativity, and respect for intellectual effort. Shipley upholds and promotes moral integrity, a sense of personal achievement and worth, and concern for others at school and in the larger community.”

Recently, teachers from the Middle and Upper schools worked together to bring to life two pillars of Shipley’s mission, educational excellence and respect for intellectual effort. The idea for this cross-divisional and interdisciplinary project was born from Middle School history teachers Mark Stetina and Rick Mueller looking for new ways for their seventh grade students to understand World War II, Germany, and inflation. Infusing math, through word problems with historical context, proved to be an engaging way for the students to better understand the world at this time. Without hesitation, Middle School math teachers Sarah Stehman, Lauren Gorman, and John Harris collaborated with Mark and Rick to develop a series of word problems.

The word of this collaboration spread to the Upper School, where economics teachers Joachim Rebholz volunteered to be an additional resource. Joachim, with the support of the Middle School history and math teams, challenged his Upper School Economics class to develop presentations to teach the seventh grade history classes about inflation. Days later, the Upper School Economics students taught the seventh graders this important lesson on understanding inflation in Germany during World War II.

In this Shipley Mission Moment, we saw:
  • Students who are engaged members of the community contributing in meaningful ways
  • A demonstration of educational excellence and a respect for intellectual effort
  • Students making High Quality Connections, an important aspect of Positive Education
  • A vision of where we learn, when we learn, and whom we learn with and from
  • Students being both acorns (learners) and oaks (teachers)
Through projects like these and with inspired and supported teachers, Shipley is advancing curriculum to further develop student capacity to think critically and globally, work in partnerships, and take leadership roles in generating solutions to real-world challenges.
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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.