Discovery Term is a two-week opportunity to investigate areas outside of the regular curriculum. By immersing themselves in learning for its own sake, students have the opportunity to test new ideas while breaking out of familiar ways of thinking. Students who commit to the goals of the course and actively participate acquire new and enduring understandings from the experiences and risks they undertake.
During Discovery Term, students and faculty work together in more equal roles, with students leading more and faculty facilitating. Discovery Term courses have specific learning objectives, but are also designed to allow for trial and error inherent in the process of exploration. One indication of Discovery Term’s significance is the fact that new curricular units, courses, and clubs often grow from innovative Discovery Term offerings.
On a logistical level, Discovery Term serves primarily junior and freshmen students, since it occurs at the end of the school year, after seniors have graduated and while most sophomores are on language study abroad. A number of juniors typically offer Discovery Term course ideas after consulting with faculty who are interested in partnering with them. Proposals for courses are due in Trimester 2. Once vetted by a committee of faculty and students, approved courses are fully developed and prepared during Advisory periods in Trimester 3.