Each spring term, The Workshop welcomes approximately 20 seniors to this immersive, interdisciplinary, project-based course. With an eye toward reimagining what school can be, The Workshop is the seniors’ only academic commitment for the entire term. Students work closely with peers, faculty, and community and global partners on a series of linked, interdisciplinary projects that revolve around a single theme: Experiments in Education. Within that theme, students engage in faculty-led projects for the first few weeks, then spend the rest of the term exploring areas of personal interest.

A variety of projects have blossomed over the years, including Listening to the Buddhists in Our Backyard. Guided by instructor Andy Housiaux and guest mentor Chenxing Han, students explore Buddhism in the Merrimack Valley by visiting Buddhist temples in local communities. They speak with monastics and lay people, immerse themselves in the physical spaces, conduct research and interviews, and produce meaningful work.

In collaboration with Andover’s Abbot Learning Garden, Workshop students work with Allison Guerette, Andover’s sustainability coordinator, on projects that have included building an Abbot Learning Garden orientation program, creating lessons-in-a-box used to host younger students at the garden, and, of course, weeding and planting.

Photos from The Workshop, 2024

(from left, Dr. Lydia Cao, Workshop students in the Abbot Learning Garden, a crowd gathered for the Listening to the Buddhists in Our Backyard” presentation)


The Workshop helps students develop skills that facilitate meaningful and lifelong academic pursuits, mainly through the practice of individual agency within academic studies. Students often leave The Workshop with projects that inform their future endeavors, impacting studies in higher education and beyond.


The Workshop is only offered to seniors who have completed their graduation requirements, limiting the well-researched benefits of constructivist learning. 

Takeaways & Best Practices

The Workshop prepares Andover graduates for lifelong learning by fostering personal meaning in their course of studies. It cultivates a learning environment that fosters motivated learners, by creating meaningful tasks, a reasonable degree of autonomy in how these are carried out, and a setting that provides respect, support and challenge simultaneously” (Benjamin Levin, Putting Students at the Centre in Education Reform).

Having the chance to pursue meaningful subjects and research, students discover more relatable contexts for their studies. In turn, this meaning can foster purpose for students’ future academic pursuits.

Creating an environment that cares for the individual rather than a specific discipline helps students come away from Andover with a strong sense of well-being.

Bottom Line

The Workshop is a rare constructivist classroom in which all individuals are respected and true equity between teacher and learner is created.

Teaching in The Workshop has been a dynamic and exciting space to see students take on research of their own choosing. These unique opportunities benefit students and faculty, and I am excited to be a part of it.

Ellen Greenberg, Tang FellowInstructor in Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science


The Workshop, 2024

Here we share blog posts written by students (and teachers) in the spring 2024 Workshop. Enjoy!

Back to Top ↑

Be a part of our community!

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