Expeditionary Learning

The Greene School is an Expeditionary Learning school.  Expeditionary Learning (EL) is a framework for engaged teaching and learning. It invests in the growth of both new and veteran teachers, helping them transform their classrooms into rigorous and stimulating learning environments. The model challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities. This results in higher achievement and greater engagement in school.

EL schools are characterized by:

• Active instructional practices that build academic skills and student motivation
• Rigorous projects that meet state standards and are connected to real-world needs
• School cultures of kindness, respect, and responsibility for learning
• Shared leadership for school improvement
• School-wide commitment to improved teaching and leadership practice


In Expeditionary Learning schools and  at The Greene School:

  • Learning is active. Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists, investigating real community problems and collaborating with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.
  • Learning is public. Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.
  • Learning is meaningful. Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and problems and make positive change in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has purpose.
  • Learning is challenging. Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and their thinking.
  • Learning is collaborative. School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.


When implemented robustly, the Expeditionary Learning core practices create school environments that promote deep engagement in learning and that allow students to achieve at high levels. Expeditionary Learning students gain skills critical to college readiness and life-long success – literacy, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, persistence towards excellence, and active citizenship – as well as mastery of subject area knowledge.

 

Expeditionary Learning's Design Principles:

  • The primacy of self-discovery ~ Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support.
  • The having of wonderful ideas ~Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world.
  • The responsibility for learning Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity.
  • Empathy and caring Learning is fostered best in communities where students' and teachers' ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust.
  • Success and failure All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges.
  • Collaboration and competition Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear.
  • Diversity and inclusion Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others.
  • The natural worldA direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect.
  • Solitude and reflection ~ Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas.
  • Service and compassion Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others.

 

Watch this 8 minute video from EL Schools - you will be inspired!

Learn more about Expeditionary Learning Schools by visiting their website