• Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound
    Design Principles

    Learning is an expedition into the unknown. Expeditions draw together personal experience and intellectual growth to promote self-discovery and construct knowledge. We believe that adults should guide students along this journey with care, compassion, and respect for their diverse learning styles, backgrounds, and needs. Addressing individual differences profoundly increases the potential for learning and creativity of each student.
    Given fundamental levels of health, safety, and love, all people can and want to learn. We believe expeditionary learning harnesses the natural passion to learn and is a powerful method of developing the curiosity, skills, knowledge, and courage needed to imagine a better world and work toward realizing it.

    1. The Primacy of Self-Discovery:
    Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, "grand passions", and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. they must have tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline and significant achievement. A primary job of the educator is to help students overcome their fears and discover they have more in them than they think.
    6. Collaboration and Competition
    Teach so as to join individual and group development so that the value of friendship, trust, and group endeavor is made manifest. Encourage students to compete, not against one another, but with their own personal best and rigorous standards of excellence.
    2. The Having of Wonderful Ideas
    Teach so as to build on children's curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide matter to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed. Foster a community where students' and adults' ideas are respected.

    7. Diversity and Inclusion
    Diversity and inclusion in all groups dramatically increase richness of ideas, creative power, problem solving ability, and acceptance of others. Encourage students to investigate, value and draw upon their own different histories, talents, and resources together with those of other communities and cultures. Keep the schools and learning groups heterogeneous.

    3. The Responsibility For Learning
    Learning is both personal, individually specific process of discovery and a social activity. Each of us learns within and for ourselves and as part of a group. Every aspect of a school must encourage children, young people, and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.
    8.The Natural World
    A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and reveals the important lessons of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of the generations to come.
    4. Intimacy and Caring
    Learning is fostered best in small groups where there is trust, sustained caring, and mutual respect among all members of the learning community. Keep schools and learning groups small. Be sure there is a caring adult looking after the progress of each child. Arrange for older students to mentor the younger ones.
    9. Solitude and Reflection
    Solitude, reflection, and silence replenish our energies and open our minds. Be sure students have time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. then give them opportunity to exchange their own reflections with each other and with adults.
    5. Success and Failure
    All students must be assured a fair measure of success in learning in order to nurture the confidence and capacity to take risks and rise to increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important to experience failure, to overcome negative inclinations, to prevail against adversity, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.
    10. Service and Compassion
    We are crew, not passengers, and are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others. One of a school's primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service to others.