The Workshop

The Workshop at Andover promotes a liberal arts education unconstrained by academic disciplines, campus boundaries, and a traditional schedule. This program is founded on the conviction that collaborative, interdisciplinary learning can be a transformative experience for both students and teachers, a pathway that meaningfully connects us to our communities and the natural world.


What is The Workshop?

The Workshop is a program for seniors in their spring term. The main goal of The Workshop is to reimagine what school could be: what if we did away with grades and a traditional schedule? What could we do instead? How deeply could we dive?

In order to facilitate this shift, we require that our students opt in fully. That is, The Workshop is the only academic commitment you take on for your spring term. Because of the interdisciplinary and project-based nature of this undertaking, students will not receive a typical Andover transcript for this term. Instead, faculty will articulate a small group of interdisciplinary credits, and students will provide evidence of learning in these credit areas.

The Topic: Democracy and Dissent

Dissent is an inescapable part of democracy. This year, students and faculty in the Workshop will examine the past, present, and future of democracy — and the ways in which dissent has shaped democracies. Areas of study may include biological and cultural roots of tribalism and xenophobia, economic trends and demographic changes, the advanced mathematics behind gerrymandering, and a range of political philosophers. The central role of the arts in defining and protesting the state will also feature prominently. We will regularly inquire into the nature of community and justice, reflecting on the ways in which the contested meanings of these values lie at the heart of the democratic process. Students selected for The Workshop will help identify possible community partners for ongoing collaborative work.

Application Process

This year, we will begin reviewing our rolling applications on Sunday, September 27. We will be accepting applications until Monday, October 5. We will notify students by October 10. You can complete the application as soon as you are ready.

Want to learn more?

You could start by learning about A Day in the Life of the Workshop. Our first offering of The Workshop was in the spring of 2020, so it took place in a virtual classroom, as did most learning at the time. Still, we built a strong community and our students produced some amazing work. You can read more, including first-hand accounts from our first cohort of students from The Workshop’s blog.

Whether you’re an interested student or a curious educator, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at tanginstitute@andover.edu.

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