In the typical classroom, the teacher lectures, the student takes notes, then the student’s grade is based on test scores-or test scores and a few papers. Students who are taught this way do not necessarily become enthusiastic or well-rounded learners.
At a small, college-prep school in New Hampshire, teaching and learning are very different from the age-old model. At White Mountain School, a boarding and day school near Littleton, New Hampshire, the mantra is “Small school. Big outdoors.” However, it might well be “Small school. Big ideas.”
Founded in 1886, the school uses the outdoors to supplement regular classroom work, with the goal of helping students to “experience something greater than themselves.” Its philosophy is simple: Teach more than facts, grade more than knowledge.
Although students receive letter grades, they are expected to develop as a “complete learner” and graded in six areas called “Learning Outcomes.”
The six Learning Outcomes are:
-> Knowledge-“Content” mastery is important; it is simply not treated as the proverbial “end all to beat...