J-Term—A Novel Approach to Learning at St. Luke’s School

St. Luke’s School’s freshman class recently had the exciting opportunity to be the first students to experience J-Term, or January-Term—a novel approach to learning that moved students out of the traditional classroom setting and into a project-based, student-led learning experience. According to Head of Upper School Liz Perry, J-Term began with this question: “What is possible when we remove the usual restrictions of the school day—50-minute periods, learning divided by subjects, everything gets a grade—to allow for a different kind of teaching and learning?”

The answer was an eight-day long immersive learning experience wherein students worked in teams to research and present solutions to a wide variety of human rights issues including: fresh water, hunger, gender and sexual rights, education, homelessness, women’s rights, religious and racial discrimination. Guided by teacher-facilitators, students directed the process and engaged in in-depth inquiry, brainstorming, and collaboration.

The week of learning culminated in a symposium where teams creatively presented key findings and ideas for, in one student’s words, “making a difference in this world.”

Please watch the J-Term experience unfold in this video featuring highlights from St. Luke’s first J-Term.

Does your school do something similar?

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