Two Rivers’ educational philosophy is exemplified by the EL Education model that forms the basis of its method of instruction. EL Education was developed by a group of Harvard educators during the early 1990s, incorporating the principles and philosophy of Outward Bound, founded by Kurt Hahn in 1941. The model was one of 12 models chosen by New American Schools to develop and evaluate as comprehensive school reform model.
EL Education is based on 10 design principles and five core practices embodied in each aspect of the school. Learning is, at its heart, an expedition into the unknown in which personal experience and intellectual growth promote self-discovery and construct knowledge. Children must be guided through this journey with care, compassion, and respect for their diverse learning styles, backgrounds, and needs. By addressing individual differences, educators can substantially increase the potential for learning and creativity of each student.
The instructional practices in EL Education schools engage children’s natural passion for learning to develop their curiosity, knowledge, skills, and courage to imagine and work toward a better world. Throughout learning expeditions, students learn to pursue questions and do work that matters. At the completion of learning expeditions, students participate in a showcase to present the results of their expeditions and detail the progression of their work. Parents and student families attend these events to celebrate their children’s learning, through witnessing their children’s discussion of their work and viewing evidence of their learning. At the end of each semester, students in the upper grades also present authentic reflections on their learning through leading their own conferences. For more information about EL Education, please visit their website at www.eleducation.org. For more information on how we implement the EL Education model at Two Rivers, please visit www.learnwithtworivers.org