EL Education, formerly known as Expeditionary Learning, is an innovative, award-winning teaching approach born 25 years ago out of a collaboration between Harvard’s School of Education and Outward Bound. Designed with an emphasis on teamwork and shared values of respect, responsibility, courage and kindness, the goal of EL is to invigorate learning through a variety of innovative teaching practices including Learning Expeditions, which are long-term, in-depth, research studies that culminate in a high-quality product, presentation or performance. EL teaches students to be leaders of their own learning with an emphasis on the three dimensions of student achievement: High Quality Work, Culture and Character, and Mastery of Knowledge. Through compelling topics connected to the Common Core standards, students learn skills and content through real-world projects.
Cultivating student success
EL Education schools are outperforming state and district averages on standardized tests and closing critical achievement gaps. In many US cities, EL schools are the highest-performing public schools, and in EL high schools, 100 percent college acceptance is the standard.
Students in EL schools:
- Graduate with the academic knowledge, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving capacity needed to succeed in college and beyond
- Hold themselves and their peers to high expectations for quality work, commitment to learning, and character
- Take leadership roles in their schools and communities
- Engage their families and communities in their learning by leading family conferences and making formal presentations to expert panels
- Complete projects that challenge them to do the work of professionals — scientists, historians, mathematicians, writers, and artists
- Work with experts and conduct field research to produce high-quality academic products that meet professional standards
- Contribute to their communities through meaningful service embedded in the curriculum
- Benefit from learning in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe, marked by kindness, respect, and responsibility
- Find joy in learning