Reflections on Design Principles

Created By

EL Education

  • Author

    Emily Cousins

  • Topic

    • Core Resources about EL Education

    Type

    Books

    "We believe Expeditionary Learning harnesses the natural passion to learn and is a powerful method for developing the curiosity, skills, knowledge, and courage needed to imagine a better world and work toward realizing it."

    -from the Preamble to Reflections on Design Principles

    Reflections on Design Principles offers brief essays on the EL Education design principles, the best short statement of the philosophy of education of Outward Bound and EL Education. The essays give examples of how the principles are integrated into teaching practices at EL Education schools. They also draw from a wide spectrum of literature to relate the design principles to the world at large.

    Created By

    EL Education

  • Author

    Emily Cousins

  • Topic

    • Core Resources about EL Education

    Type

    Books

    "We believe Expeditionary Learning harnesses the natural passion to learn and is a powerful method for developing the curiosity, skills, knowledge, and courage needed to imagine a better world and work toward realizing it."

    -from the Preamble to Reflections on Design Principles

    Reflections on Design Principles offers brief essays on the EL Education design principles, the best short statement of the philosophy of education of Outward Bound and EL Education. The essays give examples of how the principles are integrated into teaching practices at EL Education schools. They also draw from a wide spectrum of literature to relate the design principles to the world at large.

    The EL Education Design Principles

    The Primacy of Self-Discovery

    Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In EL Education schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

    The Having of Wonderful Ideas

    Teaching in EL Education schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

    The Responsibility for Learning

    Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an EL Education school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

    Empathy and Caring

    Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in EL Education schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.

    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. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

    Collaboration and Competition

    Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. In EL Education schools, students investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. Schools and learning groups are heterogeneous.

    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. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

    Solitude and Reflection

    Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need to exchange their reflections with other students and with adults.

    Service and Compassion

    We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an EL Education school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.

    The Primacy of Self-Discovery

    Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In EL Education schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

    The Having of Wonderful Ideas

    Teaching in EL Education schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

    The Responsibility for Learning

    Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an EL Education school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

    Empathy and Caring

    Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in EL Education schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.

    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. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

    Collaboration and Competition

    Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. In EL Education schools, students investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. Schools and learning groups are heterogeneous.

    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. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

    Solitude and Reflection

    Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need to exchange their reflections with other students and with adults.

    Service and Compassion

    We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an EL Education school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.