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Scott Hartl on Growing Schools with Wonderful Ideas

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    April Hattori

Getting Smart's Tom Vander Ark interviewed Scott Hartl who notes that EL Education has successfully combined intellectual and character education to transform public schools in all settings - rural, urban and suburban.  Below is an excerpt from Education Week's Vander Ark on Innovation blog that includes audio selections from the interview. 

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  • The Primacy of Self-Discovery.
  • The Responsibility for Learning.
  • The Having of Wonderful Ideas.

These are three of the 10 beautiful design principles of EL Education, formerly Expeditionary Learning, a non-profit school network that partners with schools and districts to raise the bar on student achievement by offering research-based curriculum, professional development opportunities and other resources designed to help schools meet higher standards. 

For more than a quarter-century, EL Education has demonstrated that you can combine intellectual and character education.

With its Outward Bound roots, EL Education is built on ten design principles that reflect the educational values and beliefs of Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound. These principles also reflect the design’s connection to other related thinking about teaching, learning and the culture of schools.

The 165 EL Education schools (half charter, half district) that have joined the EL Education network share the 10 design principles (three of which he feels are really resonating right now with current events) and how they tie into personalized learning.

Hartl and his team have learned a lot about school networks over the past decade, and think of their work as the “software” for the network. “We’re not an operator,” said Hartl. “We’re the software—the guts of academic program, the adult learning, the blueprint for culture and climate.”

Read the full blog and hear audio excerpts from the interview here. (Education Week subscription may be required.)