We believe that one of our most important learning resources is the city of Washington, DC. Dynamic and powerful experiences in the city and outside the classroom inspire, educate, and empower students to be responsible and empathetic members of their communities, to engage thoughtfully with real-world issues, and to develop the skills necessary to contribute meaningfully to solving the greatest challenges of our time.
“X-Day” is a concentrated extension of the exploratory learning we engage in during the rest of the week. One day a week our students build, expand upon, and bring to life elements of their learning that become woven together into powerful, enduring memories. On a recent visit to the National Zoo (just over a mile down the street from our campus), students participated in a scavenger hunt that interwove lessons in Chinese vocabulary and animal feeding behaviors.
Experiential learning at Whittle extends well beyond literacy, numeracy, arts, and sciences – our students also learn competencies to become citizens of the world that safely navigate their environments. These experiences, such as boarding and traveling the Washington Metro as a class, are built into Whittle’s Global City Core Toolkit, which develops in every student the capacity to study their environment effectively, safely and respectfully, and to engage in rewarding partnerships in local communities.
Having a school – and a curriculum – that is “open and connected” means that we are constantly working with the bountiful organizations in the Washington, DC area to forge partnerships to develop extraordinary learning experiences. Beyond our trip to the National Zoo, we have also collaborated this past Fall with KID Museum (design thinking) and CityDance (movement).
At Whittle, the learning does not end in the classroom, nor does it stop at the end of X-Day. One principal advantage of bringing our young learners out into the city is to expose them to new ideas and curiosities of the outside world – of history, culture, science, society, and more. Our students’ curiosities form the bedrock of our emergent curriculum, as we build on the spark of their interest to lead them into a galaxy of new topics.
Learn more about our educational philosophy and approach to learning. Attend an upcoming event.