At The Traveling School, the classroom is all around us and learning comes to life through the places we visit, from the people we meet, and especially from the stories they tell us. Our curriculum connects rigorous standards-based academics to a region of the globe to create a culturally diverse and academically sound educational experience. The Traveling School strives to develop classes and academic experiences based on the following key components:
- Low student to teacher ratio and college seminar-style classes to ensure active and engaged learners
- Experiential, relevant and place-based units to support critical inquiry and thorough questioning
- Discussion-based courses which are interdisciplinary in nature and connect content to students’ lives, to history and to today’s world
- Differentiated classrooms that provide individualized instruction to better support each student’s academic path
- Focus on primary sources including eyewitness accounts in order to identify and acknowledge bias in sources of information
- Transformative teachings that incorporate structural analysis to explore important themes such as: race, privilege, liberalism, democracy, capitalism, power
- A student-centered approach that integrates creative lessons and multiple modes of learning allowing students to express and enrich their learning in a variety of ways
- Reflective academic environment based on mutual respect, incorporating thoughtful silence and student-to-student discussion which creates space for diverse viewpoints
The Traveling School academic schedule is responsive to our surroundings and opportunities that present themselves as we travel through a region. Students are engaged in relevant coursework presented by their teachers, local community members and their geographic surroundings. Although the academic schedule varies from day to day and week to week, The Traveling School carefully tracks academic hours for each class whether a sit-down lecture, a historic tour or a guest speaker. The Traveling School exceeds average US standards for classroom hours.
All coursework is taught at an advanced level and involves comprehensive reading, writing, research, and student engagement. Seminar-style teaching promotes student discussion and debate, comparative studies, and progressive learning. Traveling School courses focus on critical thinking and the ability to access, synthesize, evaluate and communicate information through various formats.
Relevant and Experiential Learning
Academic activities vary from semester to semester; these days are spent exploring an art museum; taking an in-depth language seminar from a native language speaker; touring a local fishery with an expert in zoological and aquatic sciences; or meeting a freedom fighter who describes personal efforts to bring about their country’s independence. Teachers also incorporate full class days, which consist of six or more hour-long classes. Teachers have the flexibility to integrate block scheduling, multi-disciplinary classes and experiential educational activities which have been proactively framed and debriefed to ensure comprehension and connection to each course’s themes and content. There is a mandatory evening Study Hall, Sunday-Thursday, for 1-½ hours every week.