E is for Expeditionary Learning: An Approach That Works In Schools


The Expeditionary Learning approach has proved successful for many students. EL enables the students:

To enjoy learning,

To achieve high test scores.

To apply the knowledge to real life challenges.

Here is an excerpt from the EL website that describes more about its background and approach. You can discover more via the following link.


Expeditionary Learning is committed to creating classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations and where students can achieve more than they think possible.

With more than 20 years of experience helping new and veteran teachers in all settings, we build their capacity to ignite each student’s motivation, persistence, and compassion so they become active contributors to building a better world and succeed in school, college, career, and life.

Our innovative curriculum, teacher-created resources, and model of professional coaching and support are anchored by a vision of student success that joins academic achievement, character, and high-quality work.

We partner with more than 160 schools and 4,000 teachers, serving 53,000 students in 33 states, and thousands of other teachers through our professional services work in New York and other states.

Expeditionary Learning emphasises certain principles. Here are some of these, which you can find in a pdf outlining the approach.


Learning is active.

Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists, investigating real community problems and collaborating with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.

Learning is challenging.

Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. 

Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and thinking.

Learning is meaningful.

Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and problems and make positive change in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has purpose.

Learning is public.

Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.

Learning is collaborative. 

School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.

When implemented robustly, the Expeditionary Learning core practices create school environments that promote deep engagement in learning and support students to achieve at high levels.

EL students gain skills critical to college readiness and lifelong success-literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, persistence toward excellence, and active citizenship-as well as mastery of subject-area knowledge.

Here is another video that provides an insight into Expeditionary Learning.

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