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Why Expeditionary Learning?

Expeditionary Learning helps students achieve more than they think is possible through hands-on, fun and challenging interdisciplinary learning that weaves mastery of content, high-quality student work, and learning habits. At Columbine, students are achieving more than they think is possible thanks to our innovative expeditionary learning curriculum. By providing meaningful, authentic class activities and encouraging students to engage across topics of study, our students are transformed from children into historians, zoologists, paleontologists, and sociologists — just to name a few.


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Expeditionary Learning seeks to boost student achievement by focusing on three learning goals:

  1.     Mastery of Knowledge and Skills

Students develop a deeper understanding of each discipline and can apply that learning, bringing skill and knowledge to new, meaningful tasks. They think critically: analyzing, evaluating and synthesizing complex ideas while considering multiple perspectives. They learn to communicate clearly, presenting ideas effectively through writing and speaking.


  1.     Character Development

Students work to develop initiative, responsibility, perseverance, and collaboration – skills that will set them up for success throughout their lives. They also work to become ethical people who practice empathy, integrity, respect, compassion. Students seek to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use to improve their communities.


  1.     Production of High-Quality Work

Students are challenged to create complex work; they demonstrate higher-order thinking, consider multiple perspectives, and are able to relay that understanding. They 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