Experiential Education

Journal Entry, 2010 Junior Class Leadership Trip
By an outfitter chaperoning the trip

“I have a theory brewing about what goes on at Dawson, and with each of the school’s students at home.  I think the principles of community, teamwork, diligence, and putting energy into making [one’s] best personal effort are part of the routine.

“Watching this group of humans interact makes me think that excellence and success are part of the daily grind of a Dawson student’s world; they communicate well, work hard, listen hard, follow through with instructions, and present themselves with intelligence in their eyes. These traits and abilities weren’t store bought the week before the trip and spoon-fed at a briefing.  I get the feeling that this is just ‘the way they roll.’

“The remarkable display of competence I’ve seen here is the epitome of a sustainable life skill to me.”

In classrooms without walls, Dawson students learn from experience as well as from intellectual engagement. From kindergarten through high school students are encouraged to learn by doing. Two separate weeks each year are devoted to experiential education at Dawson. Constructing meaning from experience is essential to intellectual development. At Dawson, you’ll see that knowledge is not “just the facts” but the process involved in discovering meaning from authentic experiences, and applying it in a college preparatory school environment.