Key Coverage

Beyond the Blackboard

In the 1940s a British headmaster named Kurt Hahn set up a wilderness school called Outward Bound to teach young men the skills they needed to survive World War II — skills like leadership, persistence, and working together. Hahn believed these were skills conventional schools should focus on too.

Fifty years later, Hahn’s ideas about education inspired the founding of a network of public schools in the United States. Students in these schools outperform their peers when it comes to test scores and graduation rates — and also motivation, academic engagement and problem-solving ability.

This documentary explores the “Expeditionary Learning” approach, traces the history of ideas that led to its inception, and investigates what American schools could learn from its success.