Find the Joy in Learning

Kimball Union provides a college-preparatory education that honors the individual student as an essential part of the greater community. We invest in each student’s future by understanding who they are. We ask students to learn about themselves. Then as partners, we figure out who they will become – as students and as human beings – as they prepare for college and beyond.

KUA Design: Our Approach to Learning

KUA Design is our approach to learning at Kimball Union. Your unique experiences, interests, and abilities influence the way you learn and engage inside and outside the classroom, and tell us how best to support and inspire you. That’s why, from the day you arrive at KUA, it’s our mission to learn about you.
On the foundation of positive relationships, we leverage the science of how the brain works and learns to create intentionally designed experiences and challenges so that all students feel motivated, engaged, and supported. The approach guides every aspect of student life—how they find academic success, navigate social experiences, and work as a team on the playing fields.

By implementing research-informed teaching and learning strategies into the curriculum and faculty professional development, KUA can best deliver an experience that will support students in their educational, social, and emotional lives. 

Today it is understood that the teenage brain is developing, adaptable, experience-dependent, and social in nature; as such our teaching, coaching, and learning strategies are informed by four key principles that the teenage brain needs for optimal learning and growth:
The Science of Relationships: Positive relationships are foundational to learning because they build motivation and create a safe place to grow.

The Science of Individuality: All brains are unique, and students draw from a unique set of abilities and experiences.

The Science of Learning: Memory, assessment, and quality feedback are key to positive learning outcomes.

The Science of Wellbeing: Emotion and cognition are inseparable in the learning process and physical health is essential to overall functioning.  
Why this Matters
The teenage brain is far from set, and it can change and adapt to experiences it encounters. This makes high school a critical time for intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. The boarding school environment is an exceptional setting for putting neuroscience into practice, not just in the classroom but throughout a student’s full life experience.

Students are guided at every turn by faculty, coaches, and advisors who are not only highly invested in student success but are also trained in research-informed best practices for teaching and learning. As a result, students see that education can feel rewarding and satisfying.

Tyler Lewis, Head of School

Our goal is to unlock joy and develop a sense of agency so students can discover a love of learning in their life experiences at KUA and beyond.