"We are crew, not passengers." – Expeditionary Learning philosophy
Expeditionary learning can be defined as learning by doing, with a particular focus on character growth, teamwork, reflection and literacy. Instead of sitting in a traditional classroom each day, schedules are broken into projects that engage students, challenge their thinking and teach them critical problem solving skills. Work may be done inside or outside the classroom, with a particular emphasis on Outward Bound expeditions that promote teamwork and challenge students to their physical and mental limits.
The ten design principles that reflect the values and beliefs of expeditionary learning are:
• Primacy of Self Discovery – Learning happens best with challenge, emotion and proper support.
• Having of Wonderful Ideas – Time is given to foster curiosity, experiment and make observations.
• Responsibility of Learning – Learning takes place individually and as a group.
• Empathy and Caring – Both students' and teachers' ideas are respected.
• Success and Failure – Students learn from their failures and celebrate successes.
• Collaboration and Competition – Education involves the integration of group and individual learning experiences.
• Diversity and Inclusion – Students learn about their own communities and cultures, as well as others, to increase their overall learning experience.
• The Natural World – The cultivation of a direct and respectful relationship with the natural world is important.
• Solitude and Reflection – Students and teachers are given time to explore their own observations and connect their thoughts.
• Service and Compassion – Service projects are used to teach students the strength of service to one another and their community.
When these design principles are properly incorporated into the classroom experience, students develop curiosity, skills, knowledge and courage in a safe, supportive environment. They learn to imagine a better world and how to do their part to realize it.