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Aspen High School
Experiential Education Philosophy
1. Teaching and learning extend to settings beyond the classroom, and the multiplicity of settings affords a means of injecting appeal, excitement, and variety into both the teaching and the learning processes.
2. Experiential Education affords a multi-dimensional opportunity to develop and nurture social skills, peer and non-peer relationships, adult-teenage relationships, a sense of service to others, group dynamics and group interactions, and a sense of self-growth, self-esteem, and introspective self-evaluation.
3. The activities of this program will be designed and led by teachers of the high school. The design of each course will enhance in each student the development of leadership skills, fellowship among all participants, autonomy through individual responsibility, the ability to follow and to listen, the willing acceptance of responsibility, and skills in communication –both personal and formal.
4. Each course will have defined physical, social, personal growth, and academic components.
5. The academics involved in Experiential Education often have the unique quality of being applied immediately to the real-life situations and demands of the week. It is during experiential education week, perhaps more than at any other time in the school year, that a student most explicitly sees a benefit and a return on the time spent in studying, listening, and learning.
6. The cost for each offering will be borne by the students and their families and will vary depending upon factors like distance traveled and the complexity of activities; however, faculty and administration will work to provide partial or full scholarships to students in need, so that cost to the student will not be an exclusionary factor.
7. The objectives, gains, possibility, and variety of the Experiential Education program mesh perfectly with the objective of the International Baccalaureate Organization that schools work to help students “avoid academic over absorption.” The program also fosters the “Aspen Ideal” of renewal in “mind, body, and spirit” through intensive immersion in new activities with a varied peer group and sound levels of unfamiliarity and challenge.