Giving Compass’ Take:
• Kate Stringer at The 74 explains how expeditionary learning connects students with their communities using project-based instruction.
• How can expeditionary learning help students with skills sets needed for the future workforce?
Rapping wasn’t part of their usual curriculum, but the fifth-graders at Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. decided last spring that they were going to learn how to drop a beat…along with a lot of Colonial history. This process of inquiry, discovery, and creativity is called an expedition and lies at the heart of the EL Education model, formerly known as Expeditionary Learning.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Impact Philanthropy, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy.
What inspires kids is their beautiful writing, their beautiful math work, their beautiful project work. They do work that they’re truly proud of.
In education, what’s talked about mostly are the test scores. Our schools do well on test scores; otherwise, we couldn’t stay robust in our work. However, what inspires kids is not those test scores.
What does Expeditionary Learning look like?
Two Rivers, serving grades pre-K to 8, is one of more than 160 EL schools in 30 states that employ this nearly 25-year-old approach, which emphasizes content, character, and craftsmanship as measures of student achievement. Its teachers and leaders say this form of whole-child, project-based learning is the key to the network’s success across geographies and socioeconomic backgrounds, reaching more than 50,000 students.
To hear the students talk, the expeditions are almost ritualistic coming-of-age undertakings for each grade. They remember all their past expeditions and nostalgically watch their younger siblings take the same field trips.
But it’s not enough to simply learn about a subject and create a project. EL students are expected to give back to the communities they learn from, so many of the projects are designed as lessons that students can use to share their newfound knowledge. For instance, the eighth-graders created websites to teach their peers about DNA, and fourth-graders hosted an informational fair to educate people about solutions for fixing the polluted Anacostia River.
Read the full article on expeditionary learning by Kate Stringer at The 74.
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