To the Real World, and Beyond: Oliverian Electives Week Gets Students Out Of the Classroom and Into the Material

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To the Real World, and Beyond: Oliverian Electives Week Gets Students Out Of the Classroom and Into the Material

Oli Today > Blog > To the Real World, and Beyond: Oliverian Electives Week Gets Students Out Of the Classroom and Into the Material

To the Real World, and Beyond: Oliverian Electives Week Gets Students Out Of the Classroom and Into the Material
February 7, 2019

Engaging, unconventional electives offerings are an essential piece of Oliverian’s holistic approach to education.

Oliverian’s comprehensive and rigorous academic program offer students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking acumen, conduct analytical research, and hone discussion skills. But we also want our students to know how to apply those skills beyond math and humanities classes. That’s why, three times a year, we offer Oliverian students an Electives Week that gives them the opportunity to explore new and diverse interests while still earning academic credit.

Our three Electives Weeks are placed strategically throughout the school year to break up typical routines. This way, when students return from their Electives Week courses, they have a renewed interest in their coursework, or even a newfound academic or extracurricular passion. Similar to our year-round course offerings, Electives Week class sizes are small and create a nurturing, supportive environment, one that challenges students to take risks, ask questions, and find their own style of learning.

Helping Students Discover New Passions

By offering electives and letting students choose their own coursework, we empower our students to follow their passions and pursue new fields that they might not be free to explore in a more traditional academic setting. It’s our hope that the skills students learn in their weeklong intensive elective courses will open their eyes to new ways of thinking, and, ultimately, that they’ll apply those skills when they return to their classes.

One of our most popular elective courses is designed to help female students learn skills that empower them to confidently navigate the world around them — things like changing a flat tire, budgeting personal finances, and practicing self-care. After a week spent hearing from smart, successful, capable women, a student may come back to English classes with a newfound understanding of and appreciation for strong female characters  — or the lack thereof — in a particular piece of literature. What better way to immerse oneself in the tenets of feminist critical theory?

Out of the Classroom and Into the World

In addition to Electives Weeks, we encourage students to get out, explore their surroundings, and engage with different communities. This could mean opting for an Electives Week course that takes place off-campus, such as Magical History Tour, which takes students to nearby locations in New Hampshire to learn about local history (and local myths), or Ice Climbing, which gets students out on the world class ice of the White Mountains. It could also mean embarking on one of our weeklong travel electives, such as and adventure and service trip to Costa Rica or the Florida Keys.

Day-to-day life at Oli is wonderfully unique, but while our core curriculum is engaging and challenging, we want to encourage our students to become well-rounded, curious, and inspired citizens of the world. Electives Week is an important part of what makes Oli a place where students learn to apply the skills they’ve cultivated in the classroom to the world outside of it.

When students leave Oliverian, they understand that learning isn’t just about a grade on a test or solving for X. If we’ve done our jobs, they’ll appreciate that learning is a lifelong process, one that develops the academic, critical thinking, and emotional skills they need to navigate the journey.

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