Manor School has a long history of providing children with creative and engaging teaching and learning. With the introduction to the Common Core Standards in 2012 and the changing landscape for what is needed in the 21st-century college and career setting, the Manor staff took a proactive step to seek out professional learning opportunities that would help us take our teaching and learning to the next level. That’s why in 2104 we began to explore various educational frameworks that embody our values and principles as a learning community. After reviewing many different organizations and approaches, we landed on EL Education and in 2016, after a rigorous application process, we were selected as Marin County’s first EL Education Network School.
EL Education is an innovative, award-winning teaching approach born 25 years ago out of a collaboration between Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound. Today, there are over 150 EL schools across the US, including 10 schools in California.
Built on a foundation of academic rigor, character development, and joyful and inspiring twenty-first-century learning, EL helps schools make those standards come alive for students by creating stimulating, hands-on, project-based learning environments both in and outside the classroom. Designed with an emphasis on teamwork and shared values of respect, responsibility, courage, and kindness, the goal of EL is to invigorate learning through a variety of innovative core practices including learning expeditions. Learning Expeditions are long-term, in-depth, research studies focused on a compelling topic that typically seek to solve a real-world problem in the school or community. Expeditions culminate in a high-quality product, presentation, or performance that both synthesizes student learning and serves a purpose for others. Examples of models of excellence from other EL schools can be found at EL’s Center for High-Quality Work.
Although we are just beginning this official journey with EL Education, we have already made great strides in implementing some of the EL Core Practices and principles. Much of our work is about aligning and refining what we’ve already been doing over the last few years and looking critically at our work through the lens of the EL framework. We are looking forward to continuing to work with you and your family to make your child’s education at Manor extraordinary!