Tuesday, March 19, marked the first day of The Workshop, where my peers and I worked to identify and divulge: Where Research Begins. My journey began with a thought-provoking workshop at El Taller/​Cafe Azteca in Lawrence, Mass., with Dariana Guerrero, which pushed me to think more critically about my own relationships with learning and activism. Through her writing and art, Dariana displayed a novel perspective on activism, one that is rooted in creativity and playfulness. Through her work as an activist in the greater Lawrence community, she not only advocates for her community, but also nourishes her interests in writing and the arts. Dariana exemplifies how the Workshop aims to help students harness their own interests in ways that can be meaningful to others.

Returning from Lawrence, we explored library archives and analyzed art exhibits in the Addison Gallery of American Art. Here we established the power of primary sources and how they can be used to support or shape historical narratives. Through paintings and photographs, we were able to interact with American history in a more tangible way. This exploration also allowed us to think about the different ways that we can access sources and how this can guide our research. Libraries, archives, and art galleries are all resources that can enrich our resources and understanding of an event or time period. In order to build on profound questions, we must have a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding — shaped by our access and exposure to information.

To conclude the week, we ventured to Lowell, Mass., where we visited a Vietnamese Buddhist temple. There we engaged in a short ceremony, explored the inside of the building, and asked members questions we were pondering. Because I have been Catholic for most of my life, I have not gotten the opportunity to explore religions different to my own. This experience not only enhanced my understanding of Buddhism, but also left me with inquiries about my own religion that I would never have thought to ask prior to this visit. This experience gave me a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of research, community engagement, and personal growth. Moving forward, these trips, workshops, and activities will bolster our pursuit of knowledge and understanding as we explore: Where Research Begins.



Each spring term, The Workshop welcomes approximately 20 seniors to this interdisciplinary, project-based course. With an eye toward reimagining what school can be, the Workshop is the senior’s only academic commitment for the entire term. Instead of splitting their time and attention into units of distinct courses and fields of study, they work closely with peers, faculty, and community and global partners on a series of linked, interdisciplinary projects that revolve around a single theme. Within the theme Experiments in Education, students explore areas of personal interest.

Back to Top ↑

Be a part of our community!

Subscribe to our newsletter, Notes on Learning, for monthly updates.