About Expeditionary Learning

Expeditionary Learning (EL) is a framework for engaged teaching and learning.  It is a model of education that is transforming schools.

Our model challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities. We invest in the growth of our teachers and create stimulating and rigorous classroom environments. This results in higher achievement and greater engagement in school. EL works with over 150 schools and 40,000 students around the country with great results.

At the heart of EL are learning expeditions, which are interdisciplinary units aligned with state and district standards. The EL approach is experiential and project-based, involving students in original research with experts to create high-quality products for audiences beyond the classroom. The EL approach to teaching has been proven effective time and again by third-party research, including studies conducted by the Rand Corporation, the Academy for Educational Development, the American Institutes for Research and the National Staff Development Council.

Expeditionary Learning is a national network of schools.

EL partners with school districts and charter boards to open new schools and transform existing schools at all levels, pre-K-12, and in all settings – urban, rural, and suburban. Since its inception in 1992, EL has grown from a small group of ten schools into a diverse national network of over 165 schools across 30 states and the District of Columbia. As of 2012, there are over 4,000 EL teachers currently serving more than 45,000 students all over the United States!

This video from Expeditionary Learning will show you what we do and how we do it:

EL schools are characterized by:

• Active instructional practices that build academic skills and student motivation

• Rigorous projects that meet state standards and are connected to real-world needs

• School cultures of kindness, respect, and responsibility for learning

• Shared leadership for school improvement

• School-wide commitment to improved teaching and leadership practice

Expeditionary Learning helps great teachers and leaders improve continuously.

EL offers a comprehensive suite of professional development, coaching, and on-line tools to improve curriculum design, instruction, school culture, leadership, and assessment practices. EL’s content-rich institutes and school-based coaching support schools to be engaging environments where kids love to learn and teachers love to teach.

In Expeditionary Learning schools…

Learning is Active. Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists. They investigate real community problems and collaborate with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.

Learning is Challenging. Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and thinking.

Learning is Meaningful. Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and make positive change in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has purpose.

Learning is Public. Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.

Learning is Collaborative. School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.

Visit for more information,  or read the EL flyer in English or en Español.


A K – 8th public charter school in Truckee, CA