CURIOUS TO TRY SOMETHING NEW?
WELCOME TO RIVERS AND REVOLUTIONS
Much like a semester abroad program, Rivers and Revolutions is a unique educational journey that engages learners by immersing them in the many communities and world in which we live. In order to better understand the human condition and what it means to be “citizens of the world”, it is important to engage ourselves both inside and outside of the classroom – to develop and foster curiosity about what is happening out there! We often ask students to look deeper, beyond the obvious, to consider the holistic nature of knowledge and explore different ways of creatively understanding and engaging each other and the world.
RIVERS & REVOLUTIONS WILL...
introduce you to new people and invite you to see familiar people in new ways
challenge you to consider innovative ideas and explore long-held beliefs
take you to uncommon locations and deepen your connection to local places
ask you to build a learning community while reflecting on past educational experiences.
High School and Beyond
"Rivers dramatically boosted my confidence as a learner. Before experiencing Rivers I did not think I was smart enough but the Rivers curriculum showed me that I was. Now, I engage in my classes and put in the work because I know it will have positive repercussions. Rivers improved my performance in high school and college."
Students reflect on their learning experiences and offer feedback, which in turn, enriches the program's curriculum and instruction.
Rivers and Revolutions aims to create the conditions under which students have the space, time and comfort to consider what matters to them – to discover how to live a life that matters to them. Each and every day, students are reminded that no one person’s voice is more or less important than another person’s, which includes the program’s instructors. Student voices matter and influence the direction of the course. In this sense, an academically interdisciplinary curriculum is combined with a student-centered learning environment.
This powerful combination allows academic disciplines and personal perspectives to cultivate intellectual growth. An interdisciplinary curriculum creates multiple access points for different kinds of learners—kinesthetic, auditory, people with learning disabilities— and a student-centered approach further provides different access points for students with different backgrounds, different identities, and different ways of thinking about themselves.
One powerful tool we use to unlock individual knowledge is the journal. The journal is a safe place where students can quietly generate and reflect on their own thoughts, not in the context of a paper or something that’s going to be graded. The journal allows them to try on ideas, intellectually experiment, and grow confident in their singular intelligence.
50/50 SPLIT CLASSROOM TO FIELDWORK
CONCORD, CARLISLE, & BOSTON
Students access history, cultural organizations, innovative businesses, and outdoor spaces throughout Concord, Carlisle, Boston and beyond.
The curriculum aims to be out learning in the world 50% of the time. Much of the time in the classroom, is used to enrich our understandings and experiences when we leave it behind. How is one’s understanding of a place enriched when explored through the lenses of math, science, social studies, literature and the arts? Schools are often places filled with barriers between different kinds of knowledge, between people with different backgrounds, and between activities conducted inside versus outside the classroom. What would a school look like that consciously seeks to dismantle such barriers? Rivers and Revolutions sets out to answer these questions, and the result is a rich educational experience in which places become interdisciplinary texts. Every place we travel to (and every journey from classroom to a destination and back again) is, at its core, “place based” education.
In Rivers and Revolutions, the act of journaling is akin to students writing their own personalized textbook.
On the first day, each student receives their own black, hard covered journal in which to record their days throughout the semester. Students typically fill 2-3 journals a semester. In it, we ask that students tape in handouts, write essential questions, take notes during class, complete prepwork, record thoughts, reflect on experiences, jot down quotes, describe the weather, press flowers, tape in pictures, brainstorm, draw, sketch, doodle, contemplate... get the picture? The journal is a blank canvas waiting to become a representation and an extension of each students’ life as a Rivers student... a place for intellectual experimentation. And at the end of the course, completed journals are for students to keep.
The journals are relatively small compared to a binder or notebook, making them more portable for fieldwork. These journals are personal space, a place where students are free to explore course content and document their personal growth. As such, neither the faculty nor other students will be reading them without permission. They will be a part of “final portfolios”, but they will not be graded.