Explore our courses and departments to learn what we teach and how we teach it, as well as the principles and practices at work within our curriculum.
Within each department, you will feel the spirit of intellectual investigation and active learning. Within every class, you will find an average of nine students, and a creative, fearless energy that inspires students to take risks. Within each student, the roots of scholarship - and daring - are growing, and growing, and growing.
Learning at The Darrow School is hands-on, minds-on, hearts open.
As happens in many schools, our students do tangle with complex equations, author insightful essays, and measure themselves through tests. They engage in spirited debates across traditional subject areas like English, the Arts, History, Math and Science, and World Languages.
But – and this is a significant But – Darrow students are doing far more than simply readying for next week’s test or prepping for the SAT’s. Colleges and employers (not to mention the planet itself) prioritize people who can align diverse personalities and manage vast amounts of disparate information in order to solve truly relevant and truly complicated problems. Those problem-solvers are made here. In addition to the elements of a traditional education, we teach these skills from the first day of school.
Across our campus, students get dirty through hands-on experiments, discover secret talents in arts and athletics, practice sustainability, and invest themselves in service projects.
Our students dare to.
Deeper into the Active Curriculum
There are four primary characteristics of our Active Curriculum:
Student work is community-focused. It is oriented around solving actual problems or addressing specific needs in the community. Students therefore develop an awareness of interdependency - a sense of place and belonging.
It is hands-on. Through experiential learning, students create products and practice real-world skills. To quote a recent graduate, it’s important to “keep a physical component as part of the goal…making an actual thing is one of the most abundant sources of pride. That’s why we have Hands-to-Work…so that we can accomplish something useful and be proud of it.”
Instruction is differentiated. Students have a voice in their own learning, and are directed by their interests within the framework we provide for them. They bring their own strengths to take specific roles in the classroom, and learn from others in the areas where they still need development. They learn by self-discovery.
It incorporates design thinking. This is an approach that provides classroom structure for learning by creating a physical product or tangible outcome. It’s based on establishing critical questions, developing assessments, building intellectual structures, and directing classroom management techniques. Design thinking is process-oriented. This means that failure is not only expected, but is seen as a valuable learning experience.
To learn more about our Active Curriculum, please contact Mika Saarela, Director of Studies, at [email protected].