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, liberalism, democracy, capitalism, power
- Student-centered approach that integrates creative lessons and multiple modes of learning allowing for 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, an historic tour or a guest speaker. The Traveling School exceeds average US standards for classroom hours.
All course work is taught at an advanced level and involves comprehensive reading, writing, research, and student engagement. Our small class sizes support seminar style teaching to promote student discussion and debate, comparative studies, and progressive learning. There is an essential opportunity for each student to flourish in this individualized environment. Traveling School classes strive to be experiential, relevant and place based and often integrate multiple academic subjects so that student learning is interdisciplinary in nature. There are many opportunities for students: to question and problem solve; to contribute to intellectual and creative processes; to use their imaginations; to understand critical analysis and purpose; and to have a personalized learning experience. Traveling School students express and defend ideas, learn to implement evaluation, become theoretical thinkers, and become initiators of learning.
Relevant and Experiential Learning
Traveling School students become interested and active learners because their teachers construct place-based academic experiences that bring the curriculum to life. Students connect with relevant learning activities whether through current readings, local interactions, or immersion in the communities where we travel. These flexible classes are academic in nature. Sometimes, we spend a class touring an art museum for Global Studies; taking an in-depth language seminar from a native language speaker; or touring a local fishery with an expert in zoological and aquatic sciences. The Traveling School’s goal is to expose students to inspiring, relevant academics in the context of where they are and what they are experiencing.