The Exporis School curriculum is based on Exploris’s understanding of how young adolescents learn best. With an integrated, interdisciplinary approach in all areas other than mathematics, Exploris strives to create independent learners, critical and creative thinkers, and active and responsible participants in a global society.
Academic disciplines and basic skills are approached through broad-based expeditions and projects. Teachers base the direction of the expeditions on four areas: a school matrix that outlines broad categories for learning in each grade level, questions students ask about themselves and their world at the beginning of each year, National and State Standard Courses of Study, and teacher specialties and interests. Thus, while the broad expedition in each grade level might be similar from year to year, the specific design of each expedition is not.
Each grade level plans its three yearly expeditions using a common planning guide. The expeditions each include components incorporating language arts, social studies, science, the arts, and if possible, involvement in some sort of civic action. Students are generally required to complete an individual, small group, and a large group project during each expedition. During the daily “expedition time,” instruction usually involves research, group activities, and independent work time. The more traditional, teacher-directed lessons occur as they are needed.
Sixth grade studies include energy transfer, astronomy, the lithosphere, plant structure, and the emergence, expansion, and decline of civilizations pre-1450. We follow the North Carolina Essential Standards for Social Studies and Science, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. We study essential topics with a lens that includes history, geography, and economics. Our work includes collaborations with NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NEUSE RIVERKEEPER Foundation, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.