The Class of 2021 participated in the annual Thinking Across Disciplines (TAD) sophomore project this spring to compare and contrast ways of thinking in different subject areas. Students presented their work during the TAD Project Presentations and Celebration in the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
The theme of this year’s project had students explore the role that intuition plays in learning and gaining knowledge. They started by reflecting on a quote from American medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk who said, “intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.”
Students worked in groups of three or four in their Literature and Composition II and AP Language and Composition classes to develop queries around intuition, with each member of the group choosing a different subject area. The main questions they considered were, “To what extent does intuition provide us with reliable knowledge, and how reliable is intuition as a way of knowing in different subject areas?”
“Throughout my research, I saw that intuition plays a huge role in my understanding of chemistry,” said Lauren Hanna ’21. “Chemical intuition has allowed me to formulate and execute procedures in the lab. When an experiment doesn’t go as planned, my chemical intuition has led me to do more trials and fully comprehend the experiment.”
“I concluded that intuition is an integral part of acting. It’s how we determine the emotions actors have to portray, when they should portray them, and how,” said Ronan Green ’21. “Every person in my group had a very different view of intuition. TAD allowed us to come together with different views and form a more holistic view on intuition.”
Students conducted their research by talking to teachers in that particular subject area, and interviewing family members or friends outside of George School, to see the role that intuition has played in their work. Supplemental research was also collected through reading articles and reflecting on how information can challenge a person’s unique perception of intuition. Each individual then had to synthesize their findings in a research paper, and present as a group at the TAD event where they were assessed by faculty, administration, and students.
The TAD project provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their learning, feel inspired by new ways of thinking, and approach their school work with a new perspective.
“Interdisciplinary work allows for critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Applying different ways of thinking can lead to innovation and originality,” said Joelle Sanphy ’08, English teacher and TAD coordinator. “The experience provides students with an opportunity to begin thinking in abstract ways.”