Several Fordham Prep students, along with Mr. Ed Jennings, history and religion teacher, are in the midst of a two-week long, in-depth learning experience called Expeditionaries. The unique pedagogical style is the brainchild of long-time educator and member of the Fordham Prep Board of Trustees, Christian Talbot.
Talbot, a teacher at Regis High School for 14 years, is a life-long educator with time at Malvern Prep in Pennsylvania prior to his position at Regis. He believes strongly in Jesuit education, evident in his background at Regis as both teacher and Board member, at the Prep on the BOT and with a Bachelor’s from Georgetown. In fact, part of the Jesuit ideology helped stem the idea for the Expeditionaries program.
“The Jesuits preach going out to the margins and seeing God in all things. It’s these tenets that are relevant in the program.” He lamented further, “What makes it so unique is that is turns traditional pedagogy on its head. Like the Jesuits and exploring new areas, this program puts the power in the hands of the students and not the teachers.” He went on, “It builds off student’s strengths and not their weaknesses. They do the problem solving. They learn about what is important to them. There are no test cases or working off deficiencies.” He went on, “It’s NOT about filling in knowledge gaps, it’s about critical thinking.”
To keep the Jesuit theme, he added, “It’s really about finding the common good. Teamwork is essential to the success of the students. That is more important than individual accomplishment and that’s another tenet the Jesuits believe strongly.”
The Prep was just one of three schools in the metropolitan area to participate in the program. The culmination of the learning comes at the end, when the group of students present their problem and their solution to a panel of experts. Here are some PHOTOS of the students at work. HERE is a video of the Prep boys presenting their project.