EL Education: We Grow Through Doing
The Russell Byers Charter School is a learning community, built on the structures and principles of its educational model: EL Education (formerly known as Expeditionary Learning). In the RBCS community, students learn by doing. Academic goals are linked to adventure, service work, teamwork, and character development. And education becomes a partnership between student and teacher, as supported by enlightened school leadership and committed parents.
This partnership is key to the school’s overarching goal: empowering students to take responsibility for their own education. At RBCS, students are on a journey of self-discovery and knowledge acquisition, and teachers provide guidance for this journey, drawing on experience, compassion, and respect for diverse learning styles, backgrounds, and needs.
Using the EL Education model, students are supported in developing new skills and achieving mastery of them. As their confidence grows, so does their natural curiosity and their desire to try more complex assignments. This active engagement holds students’ interest in the classroom and over time, enables an even more important development: it changes their way of being in the world. It turns them into lifelong learners, capable of taking on challenges.
EL Education was chosen for the Russell Byers Charter School in large part because it complements the life of the man to whom the school is dedicated. The late Russell Byers was a well-known columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News, writing there for 10 years about many issues—most notably education and school reform. Russell believed both in going to the source for information and that the best learning occurred while doing. He was also a passionate advocate for personal and public accountability. His values are clearly reflected in the EL Education model.
“When I think back about my time at Russell Byers, one word that comes into my mind is 'life-changing.'”