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Design Principles

The design principles express the philosophy of education and core values of Expeditionary Learning. Use the arrows to the right or left to navigate through them.


1. The primacy of self discovery

Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support.

2. The having of wonderful ideas

Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world.

3. The responsibility for learning

Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity.

4. Empathy and caring

Learning is fostered best in communities where students' and teachers' ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust.

5. 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.

6. Collaboration and competition

Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear.

7. Diversity and inclusion

Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others.

8. The natural world

A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect.

9. Solitude and reflection

Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas.

10. Service and compassion

Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others.

Design Principles Brochure

As explained by our Kindergarteners in the fall of 2008. Cick here to download a copy.

Expeditionary Learning

Follow this link to learn more about EL Schools. http://elschools.org/

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