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Education Test

Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools

Child on high ropes
Stephen Smith
/
A student at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in New York conquers a high ropes course.

The last of our four part American Radio Works series concludes Monday, September 28 with Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools.

In the 1940s a British headmaster named Kurt Hahn set up a wilderness school to teach young men the skills they needed to survive World War II - things like leadership, persistence, and working together. Hahn believed these were skills conventional schools should focus on too. Fifty years later, Hahn's ideas about education inspired the founding of a network of public schools in the United States. Students in these schools outperform their peers when it comes to test scores and graduation rates - and also motivation, academic engagement and problem-solving ability. This documentary explores the "Expeditionary Learning" approach, traces the history of ideas that led to its inception, and investigates what American schools could learn from its success.


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