Using the world as a Classroom
Wildlands School focuses on developing life-long learning skills driven by self-direction. Wildlands is a 7th-12th grade project-based school located at Beaver Creek Reserve in Eau Claire County. Its middle school students work in a multi-age group and focus on thematic units with multidisciplinary connections. These students learn how to learn in projects directed and coordinated by staff.
High school students work in a more open project-based format with a personal learning plan, all organized in Foundry. All the activities and learning students do in high school accumulates credit toward graduation. As a project-based school, the high school uses multiple learning modes including long term projects, community service learning, seminars, blended online learning tools, expeditionary learning, adventure based learning, internships, and community partnerships and mentors. Students work in an environment where they are in control of their own schedules and partner with staff on learning plans and projects.
A NURTURING, PERSONALIZED, AND INCLUSIVE CULTURE
Wildlands School nurtures a safe, supportive environment that encourages creative exploration and recognizes failure as a first step in learning. Education is personalized, inquiry-driven and standards-based, recognizing every student’s individual needs in a personalized plan for academic, social, and emotional growth. Wildlands is inclusive and recognizes diverse learners with varying backgrounds, life experiences, and ability levels; diverse educational experiences are designed in partnership with community professionals, local businesses, organizations.
FOUNDRY AT WILDLANDS
Paul Tweed, one of Wildlands School’s founders, shares the school’s experience with the Foundry tool, "Foundry is the tool that allows us to work with students in an open inquiry, project format. Without the features of Foundry we could not begin to imagine creating the system where students drive their own learning, and we work hand in hand with students to manage their personal goals, learning targets, and credit outcomes.
"The customization of the Foundry system has allowed us to work with students and not data. It has allowed us to place responsibility in the hands of the learner, concentrate on reflective learning, progress, and demonstrated understanding instead of accounting issues associated with a project-based learning environment. In short, we could not survive without it."
Read the blog about Active Learning in Projects by Wildlands teachers Paul Tweed and Liz Seubert