Expeditionary Learning (EL)
EL is a national organization that partners with new and existing charter schools in urban, rural and suburban districts. Based on the core principals of Outward Bound and Harvard's Project Zero, EL uses a rigorous approach to teaching designed to improve student achievement, build student character, enhance teacher practices, and instill a positive school culture. The EL approach promotes an engaging curriculum; active, inquiry-based pedagogy; integrated arts; and a school culture that teaches compassion and good citizenship.
At the heart of EL are learning expeditions,interdisciplinary units aligned with Common Core standards. The EL approach to learning is experiential and project-based, involving students in original research - with experts from a variety of fields - to create high-quality products for audiences beyond the classroom.
The EL approach to teaching has been proven effective by third-party research groups such as the Rand Corporation, the Academy for Educational Development, the American Institutes for Research and the National Staff Development Council. For more information about Expeditionary Learning, please contact an SBCS administrator or visit https://eleducation.org.
Our Partnership with Expeditionary Learning
SBCS began a relationship with EL in the 2008-2009 school year. Learning expeditions are based on specific learning goals prioritized by the Maryland State Department of Education and Common Core Standards. Learning expeditions result in high quality student products and projects that display students’ understanding of meaningful learning in literature, math, art, health, music, and history. Beyond learning expeditions, SBCS focuses on several other areas of EL implementation including culture and character structures, active pedagogy, workshop model instruction, student-engaged assessment, and writing. Our intensive curriculum design requires additional and ongoing training for our teachers and para-professionals. Each Friday, SBCS closes at 1:00 p.m. to allow our teachers to participate in two hours of specialized professional development. This extra-effort has built a strong relationship between our school and our staff that is reflected in a high rate of teacher retention and excellent quality classroom instruction.