Independent Learning Experiences

At Tilton School, students are encouraged to imagine and create learning opportunities that require them to fully immerse themselves in the process. An Independent Learning Experience (ILE) is derived from student passions. With approval from the Academic Dean and guidance from a faculty/staff mentor, students mold their passion into an objective and project with specific, manageable, and measurable goals outside of their regular school work. Projects might be as short as a week—or could be comprehensive enough to last an entire year, but either way—but not matter how long they take, these experiences extend far beyond the basics.

Exploratory, self-designed programs represent the ultimate student-school partnership. Students willing to venture outside the formal curriculum to design their own learning program demonstrate habits of mind most closely associated with successful leadership—vision and initiative.

Recent exploratory programs have taken several forms, the focus, function and form arising from genuine student interest, or a shared interest between student and teacher. 

Indpendent Learning Experiences provide opportunities to explore and master Essential Skills outside of the traditional classroom curriculum or Grade Level Programming, and they represent yet another way students take control of their own learning at Tilton School.

Tilton School encourages students to strike out on their own, beyond the classroom and into the world of work and learning beyond campus.

Female student holding a block of limestone in front of a whiteboard

Anika Tullos ‘19 loves rocks. She always has. It’s a passion that has been brewing inside her (literally) since she was a young girl.

“I really liked rocks when I was little…I accidentally ate one,” Tullos remembers. “I wanted to protect it, I thought it was special.”

Read about how Anika Tullos ‘19 pursued her love of Geology through an ILE.