A message from the Chair
GATE Academy is an exciting school. Inquiry-based education works. It ignites kids of all ages. A recent graduate told me, "Content is everywhere, but it's what you can do with it that counts, and that's what inquiry teaches kids. The students at GATE are so lucky—I learned so much."
What is inquiry? Looking around. Wondering. Experimenting. Figuring things out. Making connections. Checking for contradictions. Avoiding assumptions. Asking questions. Having an open mind. These are skills that require cultivation and develop with explicit practice.
What is inquiry-based education? The organized practice of cultivating skills of inquiry. We do it with glue guns, spreadsheets, sewing machines, challenge math, petri dishes, debates, play writing, acting, dissections, stone carving, pipets, and more. All in repeating cycles of broad content that rotate through sciences and humanities, from the Big Bang to C.E.
Who needs to practice inquiry skills? Strong artists are inquirers. Notable writers are inquirers. Insightful scientists are inquirers. Bold inventors are inquirers. Fantastic mathematicians are inquirers. Successful builders, academics, administrators and teachers are inquirers. Inquiry is the stuff of life-long learning and doing, growing and improving.
GATE Academy's inquiry program is evidence based. Learning to ask one's own questions leads to curiosity and problem-solving. Learning by doing and experimentation—hands on or minds on—leads to stronger comprehension, better retention, and the ability to make deeper cross connections. Learning to communicate and to present well requires constant writing, lots of reading, structured discussion and debate, all accompanied by peer and teacher support. We do these things at GATE.
GATE remains at the forefront of best practices in education. Recent educational press emphasizes fitness, mindfulness, agency and cross-curricular learning. GATE has physical education every day of the week. GATE has been teaching mindfulness to kids for years. GATE's core mission is for students to be in charge of their inquiry—that's true agency. GATE's inquiry is cross-curricular of necessity, not by fad.
GATE is a place where it is safe and fun to explore—all different kinds of ideas and facts. No human problem can be solved without willingness to understand and question first, to be open-minded, foregoing the facile road of quick judgment, and the deafening echo of confirmation bias.
This school is amazing, and motivated kids thrive here. I am honored to serve as GATE's Executive Chair and treasure our kids, faculty and families who join hands daily to make it all work.