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What’s Special About Tilton’s Ninth-Grade Seminar

Students participate in an interactive lesson in our Alumni Amphitheatre

Ninth-grade seminar is a design thinking class that teaches and hones the skills of brainstorming, initial and essential question building, information gathering, analysis, identifying a problem, and ultimately creating innovative solutions. In concert with our all-encompassing ninth-grade experience — which provides structure and support for our youngest students in all aspects of life on campus — this seminar provides consistent space within the academic day for these students to build a foundation for a four-year experience at Tilton.

Public Speaking

Presentation skills are at the forefront with students actively working to create cohesive presentations that showcase strong public speaking skills and engage in audience. Many students recall feeling nervous about this aspect of the program at first, only to hold their final presentations to their peers among their proudest moments after developing their skills throughout the year.

Interviewing and Active Listening

One of the skills we cover that is typically brand new to students is interviewing with a focus on active listening. Rather than completing an interview with questions, students are taught how to validate what another person is saying and to dig deeper into their statements as a way to get their interviewee to open up further.

With the rise of technology and social media, we believe that the art of conversation is essential to developing students who go on to be successful adults and that process begins within our ninth-grade seminar.


Another distinguishing feature of our ninth-grade seminar class is the structure and how we utilize older students on campus as teaching assistants to help practice the skills and serve as project leaders. This serves as an opportunity for students to learn from their peers and also for our older students to develop their communication skills and understanding of content.

The seminar is an entirely project-based class that heavily emphasizes group work. Students hone their ability to collaborate with others and become empathetic leaders.


For more information about the academic program at Tilton, visit our full website!

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