Experiential Education

What is Experiential Education?

Education at Putney isn’t about a classroom and four walls, it is about the experience and opportunities to grow, learn and lead that are foundations to students’ schooling.

With over 75 years as a leader in the successful progressive education style pioneered by John Dewey, Putney encourages students to flourish into well-rounded, engaged members of our society. Our goal is to help stoke the inner flame of curiosity within students and to guide them into chasing those ideas and answering their own questions. Thus, they are able to express and present their knowledge in engaging and compelling ways. Understanding that in experiential education, failure is an essential part of the learning process for humans when testing new ideas. And when pupils persevere and grow, that is when students shine.


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Putney, an Experiential School

At Putney, students learn to be active participants in their own education and the community they help create.

Student involvement, in all levels of our school, allows them to have ownership of their experience and confidence in understanding how to maneuver successfully through their life. Taking a role in everything from the  Board of Trustees to the school council and other student-run work on our campus from the farm to the kitchen provides a holistic educational foundation. This is because we know that outdoor experiential education is just as important as what happens behind a desk.

Allowing students to take hold of their education through personal responsibility builds character and resilience that ensures the success of our students.

With shared work, learning and leadership, they learn the importance of community as well as their role in it. They also learn the value of their individuality as well. To move within the world with confidence, graduates will know the merit of collaboration over competition and how work is a vital part of our everyday lives. Join us at Putney, where we believe that students are trustworthy and capable members of our community.

Project Week: Restoring Wildlife Through Gardening

Sarah '17 establishes a new garden at Putney to cultivate indigenous wildlife, in partnership with Nayderson '20.

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