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    Expeditionary Learning (EL) at Cedar Park

    What is Expeditionary Learning (EL)?

    Expeditionary Learning is student-driven, deep and engaging learning connected to the real world that embeds grade level skills and competencies.  Expeditionary Learning is a project -based, student-led learning model. Instead of having each subject as a separate entity, this model allows a class to dive deeply into an expedition/project and the teacher to integrate skills and standards into the expedition.  Additionally, expeditions have connections to real-world learning.  In order to enhance this real-world connection, classes participate in field trips or invite experts to come in and teach them more about their chosen expedition.

    How is Expeditionary Learning SIMILAR to a traditional school model?

    • EL schools held to the same curriculum/Common Core State Standards
    • EL schools use District adopted core curriculum such as the Center for the Collaborative Classroom (English Language Arts curriculum) and Math in Focus (Math curriculum).
    • EL schools participate in standardized testing

    EL Philosophy at Cedar Park

    Included below are the key characteristics and philosophies of Expeditionary Learning at Cedar Park:

    Mastery of Knowledge & Skills

    • Demonstrate proficiency and deeper understanding:
      show mastery in a body of knowledge and skills within each discipline
    • Apply the learning:
      transfer knowledge and skills to novel, meaningful tasks
    • Think critically:
      analyze, evaluate, and synthesize complex ideas and consider multiple perspectives
    • Communicate clearly:
      write, speak, and present ideas effectively in a variety of media within and across disciplines


    • Work to become effective learners:
      develop the mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration)
    • Work to become ethical people:
      treat others well and stand up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion)
    • Contribute to a better world:
      put their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service)

    High-Quality Student Work

    • Create complex work:
      demonstrate higher-order thinking, multiple perspectives and transfer of understanding
    • Demonstrate craftsmanship:
      create work that is accurate and beautiful in conception and execution
    • Create authentic work:
      demonstrate original thinking and voice, connect to real-world issues and formats, and when possible, create work that is meaningful to the community beyond the school

    The 10 Building Blocks

    1. The primacy of self-discovery
    2. The having of wonderful ideas
    3. The responsibility of learning
    4. Empathy and Caring
    5. Success and Failure
    6. Collaboration and Competition
    7. Diversity and Inclusion
    8. The Natural World
    9. Solitude and Reflection
    10. Service and Compassion