"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them" (Aristotle).
Experiential Learning is at the core of The Salisbury School education. With an emphasis on the individual, Experiential Learning is fostered by a close mentoring relationship between student and teacher and the opportunity to gain knowledge through first-hand experience rather than simply from a textbook. This educational approach is founded in the educational philosophies of John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, and Jean Piaget.
At The Salisbury School, Experiential Learning is applied in three ways. In the classroom, teachers seek opportunities to bring real-world experience to their daily curriculum. In chemistry, the students perform research in a water quality study in the greater Salisbury area, drawing conclusions from their testing which will be a part of a five-year study for publication. In Civics class, ninth grade students commit to a service learning project for which they formally present to their class.
Enhancing the classroom, students and faculty participate in a week-long Experiential Week each year. Students may take part in a wide variety of experiences that vary from year to year. Examples of past programs are Language Immersion in Spain and in Montreal, Backpacking in Pinhoti State Park in Alabama, Exploring the Arts in New York City, Habitat for Humanity, Exploring the Eastern Shore, Exploring China, Designing through Physics and Art a Moving Holiday Display for Decorating Delmarva, and a Literary/Historic Tour of New England.
In the junior and senior years, students may apply to participate in an unpaid internship for academic credit. In the past, students have interned as a volunteer in a hospital, shadowing doctors in different specialties, have interned in arts management, and have interned in management with Perdue Industries.
Experiential Learning at The Salisbury School promotes interdisciplinary learning, civic engagement, career development, cultural awareness, leadership, and other skills preparing students for the professional world.