Demonstrations of Learning

Our Twelve Demonstrations of Learning are a hallmark of student scholarship at Wye River.

The Demos, as we call them, are modeled after those first presented in 2009 by Patrick Bassett, former Executive Director of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Bassett collaborated with Presidents of Universities to identify the skills and values that would be rewarded in the 21st Century and created a sample list of ten Demonstrations with a call to action for all independent schools to create their own.

The Wye River faculty wrote their own twelve Demos.

Fashioned to be rigorous, progressive, college and life preparatory, the twelve demonstrations are action-oriented projects that a Wye River student will design, produce and document for their individual digital portfolios. The Demonstrations are reflective of six 21st Century core values: Creativity, Character, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Cosmopolitanism.

Students have all four years of their high school experience to complete the demos, which must be presented to a body of faculty as a graduation requirement. The projects typically run on a quarterly basis and are presented each quarter during a school assembly.

The Wye River 21st Century Twelve Demonstrations of Learning are:

1. Write a cogent and persuasive opinion piece on a matter of public importance.

2. Declaim with passion and from memory a passage that is meaningful — of one’s own or from the culture’s literature or history.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of long and short term personal goals addressing such areas as finances, time management, self-advocacy, personal and social skills, occupational plans, health and wellness strategies and recognition of the impact of their learning differences.

4. Complete and critique personal performance in an internship or experiential learning.

5. Produce or perform an original or challenging work of art.

6. Construct and program a robot capable of performing a difficult physical task.

7. Exercise leadership and articulate the strengths used to be a leader.

8. Use statistics and/or logic, to assess whether or not a statement by a public figure is demonstrably true.

9. Assess media coverage of a global event from various cultural/national perspectives.

10. Describe a breakthrough for a team on which you served and to which you contributed to overcoming a human-created obstacle in order for the team to be successful.

11. Demonstrate a commitment to creating a more sustainable future with means that are measurable.

12. Identify a community need and demonstrate your role in meeting it.

Students pursue the Demos throughout all subject areas and especially through a daily class dedicated to 21st Century learning - the “21C” course. Read more about this class on our 21st Century page.