Reopening: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools
Header image

EL Mentor School Odyssey Expeditionary Learning School Featured in Piece on Character

  • Date

  • Author

    Alexis Margolin

EL Mountain Region, Regional Director Jon Mann and EL Mentor School Odyssey Expeditionary Learning School in Denver, CO were recently featured in a Christian Century piece on character in the classroom and the community, and what it means to expand the definition of achievement.

“Crew,” said EL regional director Jon Mann, “is foundational to everything we do.” EL teachers are trained to look for “full and even participation” and to craft exercises in which the work of any one student is dependent on the others.

Mann said the focus on being part of a crew also allows discipline problems to be handled differently. Teachers rarely send children out of the classroom to deal with a discipline issue. Rather, the teachers raise the question of behavior in the context of its impact on the crew.

Connected with the concept of crew are other principles of Expeditionary Learning: service and compassion, empathy and caring, and diversity and inclusion. An emphasis on being part of the crew does not mean conformity. Mann points out that children are encouraged to express themselves through both voice and dress.

“You notice in the classroom that kids have hats on; they all have their own thing. That is what we want. We want them to come to us as they are, and not have to be somebody else because of the adults’ rules.”

Read the full article here.