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.

It took us six months of work together to get those two sentences.

Beginning in the fall of 2018, an interdisciplinary group of educators at Phillips Academy set out to rethink what school could be. We drew inspiration from many places, especially the ideas of EL Education and In Search of Deeper Learning, a book by Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine that surveyed a range of high schools in America. Mehta and Fine discovered that deeper learning has three parts: mastery, identity, and creativity.

We found ourselves asking a set of questions: How can we reimagine the basic building blocks of schooling: time, grades, assessment, even space? How can we design learning experiences that allow for deep learning and the attendant mastery, identity, and creativity? And perhaps most important for us as educators: How can we create systems and structures that support authentic student learning and agency? Put differently: how can the Workshop be a place where students do meaningful, sustained, interdisciplinary work—and not just a place where school is done to them by a bunch of adults?

Now, of course, we find ourselves in an uncertain time globally and in schools. Nevertheless, our core convictions articulated above in our mission statement remain. We believe deeply in the value of a liberal arts education and the idea that a student’s learning should liberate them from misunderstanding, narrow-mindedness, and prejudice. We believe transformative learning happens when students and teachers collaborate on projects that explore complex problems. We believe that knowing our communities and the world around us will make us more human and more humane.

Welcome to this website. We hope you’ll take a look around at our writing and our work. We welcome your feedback and ideas as we continue to reimagine what learning can be.

Our theme for 2020 is Community, Class, and Carbon.



The Latest

Announcing 2020–2021 Tang Institute Fellows & Projects

20 fellows will work on 7 new and ongoing projects during the 2020–2021 academic year

The Workshop: Ogden ’20’s Mid-Term Reflection

A look into the life of a boarding school student during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Workshop: Claire ’20’s Week 4 Reflection

Prioritizing Interpersonal and Nonlinear Learning

What is the Workshop at Andover?

The Tang Institute will pilot a new model for connected learning and collaboration.

Reimagining Teaching and Learning at Andover

The Workshop at Andover promotes a liberal arts education unconstrained by academic disciplines, campus boundaries, and a traditional schedule.

Meet the Team

Meet our faculty and collaborators.