EL Education was inspired in 1991 from a partnership between Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound, USA. They joined the character-infused philosophy of Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn, which focuses on teamwork, courage, and compassion with an active approach to learning crafted by leading Harvard scholars and created founding principles for the EL Education model.
When students have completed their academic career and entered adult life, they’ll be judged not by performance on basic skills tests—but rather, by the quality of their work and the quality of their character.
This premise serves as the foundation for EL Education’s overarching vision of increasing student engagement and elevating and expanding student achievement. To realize that vision, EL schools focus on student excellence in three core areas:
- Mastery of Knowledge and Skills
- High Quality Student Work
With our EL philosophy, we encourage discovery, inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. Our lessons have explicit purposes, guided by learning targets for which students take ownership and responsibility. Thank you to the EL Education organization for all of this background information.
As a school, EL (formerly known as Expeditionary Learning) and Outdoor Education and Wellness (OEW) are the foundation to our daily curriculum. Key EL design principles include:
- the fostering of curiosity,
- the fundamental primacy of self-discovery,
- the development of empathy and caring in all students,
- a respect for diversity and inclusion,
- the collaboration, collectivity and responsibility for learning,
- a commitment to solitude and reflection, and
- a deep respect for the environment and natural world.
When we add a few character traits and habits of learning to our curriculum and design principles, we’ve created an environment of hands-on learning that perfectly fits our community, our students and our staff. This allows the impactful relationships which blossom between students and staff, thus, allowing each student to grow and learn at their ability and pace, and feeling supported while on their journey.