Core Practices

The five ELS core practices build on one another to support high expectations and high performance in every area of the school. They start with the implementation of the learning expeditions and follow through to how the teachers and staff review the school's progress and structure time in school day and school year to maximize student success.

  1. Learning Expeditions – These benchmarks describe how project-based learning expeditions, the primary units in Expeditionary Learning schools, are organized, planned and carried out.

  2. Active Pedagogy – The active pedagogy benchmarks set expectations for teaching across all disciplines that is engaging, inquiry driven, and student centered.

  3. Culture and Character – These benchmarks present Expeditionary Learning's approach to building and sustaining strong culture that fosters character growth, high expectations, and equity.

  4. Leadership and School Improvement – These benchmarks describe how effective leaders support high achievement and continuous improvement.

  5. Structures – The structures' benchmarks address how school leaders organize time, faculties, and students to support learning expeditions, active pedagogy, and the Expeditionary Learning school culture.

Expeditionary Learning: Core Practice Benchmarks [2.5MB PDF]