Darrow's Active Curriculum

At Darrow, learning is hands-on, minds-on work.

In classrooms, our students solve equations, write essays, and, yes, take tests. They also participate in energized dialogue and spirited debate about classic areas of study including English, the arts, history, math and science, and world languages. Colleges today are seeking graduates who are problem-solvers, project managers, and independent thinkers. These are lifelong skills that Darrow teaches from day one.

Across our campus, they learn through hands-on experiments, artistic and athletic pursuits, environmental practices, and service projects that bring their education to life through hard work that’s meaningful and fun. 

Darrow is for students who are ready to learn with their hands on, their minds on, and their hearts open.

Deeper into the Active Curriculum

There are four main characteristics of the active curriculum at Darrow:

1.  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 or belonging.

2.  It is hands-on. Otherwise known as “experiential learning.” In Darrow’s active curriculum, students create products and practice real-world skills. To quote sophomore Will '18, 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.”

3.  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 in 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.

4.  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, meaning that failure is not only expected, but is seen as a valuable learning experience.

Weekly Block Schedule

Darrow School is proud to be associated with ​The Independent Curriculum Group working to promote the transformation of teaching and learning:


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