At the Bennett Day Upper School, we believe that there are essential human-centered skills that must be developed in order to become a responsible and impactful citizen. These skills must be developed in concert with one another, as we believe knowledge is constructed through a learner’s effort to make sense of themselves and others within a multi-faceted learning environment. While, in some cases, these skills overlap with what one might find in the subjects of a traditional school curriculum, we believe that a focus on those traditional subjects, inevitably to the exclusion of the needs of the whole learner, leaves students unprepared for the demands of the world. As such, we focus on what we believe to be the five core skills of effective modern citizenship: Logic and Reasoning, Problem-Solving, Self-Regulation, Strategic Foresight, and Global Competence. These five skills encompass everything contained in a traditional curriculum, but go well beyond that by focusing not on the subjects themselves, but on a holistic view of a learner who uses these skills in a unified experience across subjects in concert with one another to engage in relevant, forward-thinking citizenship.  Thus we group these skills not by “subject,” but by the role they play in the development of specific learning skills we feel are most relevant to our world today. This also allows us to revisit these focus points at any given time to best meet the needs of society at the moment.

The list below represents both the five core human-centered thinking skills that make up a Bennett Day Upper School Education and the specific competencies for which students are accountable for developing during their time as students in the Upper School. These competencies drive the design of our learning experiences, the assessment of students, and our own professional development as learners.


Logic and Reasoning

Problem Solving


Strategic Foresight

Global Competence

Mathematical Thinking Scientific Investigation Health Maintenance (Physical and Mental) Economic Literacy Empathic Design
Persuasive Writing Iterative Design Artistic Expression (Visual, Musical, or Dramatic) Technological Literacy Democratic Participation (History and Government)
Critical Thinking (subcategory: Psychological Analysis) Sociological Analysis Narrative Expression (Storytelling) Modern Media Literacy Multilingual Communication