WISDOM is a deep understanding and awareness of people, things, events, or situations which allows people to make informed decisions.
In her classic novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley tells the story of a brilliant scientist, Victor Frankenstein, whose extraordinary intelligence allows him to discover the scientific secret of artificially creating human life. While audiences may be in awe of the fictional character’s intellectual brilliance and disciplined scholarship, readers quickly become horrified by the lack of wisdom Victor exercises. The scientist has the knowledge to do extraordinary feats, but he lacks the wisdom to imagine the impact his work will have on the world around him. In the literary canon, Shelley’s novel has become a moral tale, warning audiences of the dangers of knowledge without wisdom. Victor’s failure is in his inability to apply his knowledge successfully to an understanding of the human condition and human communities. While Victor Frankenstein had extraordinary knowledge, he had no wisdom, and the result is tragic for himself and his sphere.
At Trinity Valley School, we value knowledge; we encourage rigorous scholarship, disciplined learning, and a lively pursuit of truth among our students. But, we elevate wisdom as a core value, because we regularly combine our pursuit of knowledge with a deep exploration into the human experience. Students develop intelligence as they learn the scientific framework of an ecosystem; they gain wisdom as they study how their own behaviors impact the environment. Students gain knowledge in literature classes as they learn to analyze symbols and dissect thematic patterns, but they develop wisdom as they consider their own experiences in the context of the fictional worlds of the literary greats.
The TVS faculty knows that growing up is largely about growing out. The Upper School at TVS is an exciting environment where students apply the knowledge that they develop in their classes to the experiences that they have as parts of the local, national, international and global communities. Our faculty understands that knowledge in isolation is not sufficient, that wisdom is required to change the world. In the Upper School we guide and encourage our students to see themselves as increasingly connected to the world and issues around us. And in the moment when academic intelligence intersects with the human experience, knowledge becomes wisdom, and our students and alumni begin to fulfill their potential as leaders of character who lead the world in positive ways.
- Chris Gunnin, Head of Upper School