Expeditionary Learning: Thinking in a New Direction
Mount Holyoke's M.A.T. is the only graduate teaching program in the country created and developed in collaboration with Expeditionary Learning (EL), a nonprofit educational organization that is transforming schools across the country. Students in our program take EL-designed courses and workshops taught by Mount Holyoke faculty and visiting EL teachers and mentors.
M.A.T. students will benefit from EL's innovative approach to professional development, which is designed to help teachers apply their theoretical learning to classroom practices so that all students can achieve at high levels and engage deeply in school. The National Staff Development Council concluded that EL was the only program of 26 studied to meet all 27 standards for high-quality professional development.
EL emphasizes project-based, purposeful learning grounded in the community—which leads to high levels of student achievement, engagement, and motivation. EL's core practices are based on current research about how both students and adults learn.
What Is Expeditionary Learning?
Expeditionary Learning, developed out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in collaboration with Outward Bound, is a teaching model that challenges students to think critically and to take active roles in their classrooms and communities. EL partners with school districts and charter boards to open new schools and transform existing schools at all levels, K-12, and in all settings—urban, rural, and suburban. When President Barack Obama visited Capital City Public Charter School, an Expeditionary Learning school in Washington, D.C., he cited it as an "example of how all our schools should be." EL offers professional development, coaching, and online tools to help schools achieve excellence in all areas: curriculum design, classroom teaching, assessment, school culture, and leadership.