Innovations in Learning

Innovations in Learning

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A Taft education goes beyond the traditional delivery of a core curriculum. Experiential and applied learning opportunities at Taft transform theory into practice, knowledge into understanding, and passion into action. Our diverse programs and learning opportunities prepare Taft students to not only thrive in the 21st century, but to lead the way as globally literate, intellectually robust, and ethically principled citizens of an increasingly interconnected world community.

Independent Study Program (ISP)

For more than 50 years, Taft's ISP has allowed students to pursue their passions through high-level, inquiry-based, self-directed courses of study. Our program was the first of its kind in the nation, and continues to offer students a unique opportunity for advanced learning outside of the traditional classroom. Learn more.

Self-Directed Learning

Unique Partnerships

For nearly five years Taft and The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) have enjoyed a growing and meaningful partnership. Taft welcomes NYBG staff to campus several times each year for a scientific lecture series, and the Garden welcomes Taft students not only to its legendary grounds each year, but also to its classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and research spaces. Taft students work side-by-side with renowned scientists and college and graduate students during summer internships, conducting advanced research that has included collecting, developing, and digitizing assets for the 2.3 million specimen C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium, and devising a rapid DNA extractor for use by botanists in the field. Learn more about the NYBG partnership.

Taft students have also worked in collaboration with the Sustainable Aquaculture Initiative out of Woods Hole, MA, to develop a small scale tilapia aquaculture model to benefit upland Haitians by growing fish to an edible size with little time or resource input, and with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), Marine Biology Lab (MBL), US Geological Survey (USGS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It bodes well for the school to be aligned with one of the best research and education institutions in the world. It demonstrates not only the tremendous opportunities available to Taft students, but also the esteemed position Taft enjoys in the larger community.

—Paul Parvis, Taft School, NYBG partnership founder

Study Away

Our school is an international community—a forum for widely diverse points of view and a laboratory of global issues. Our diverse student body makes this inherently so; programs that extend learning beyond Taft’s classrooms—both at home and abroad—enrich our community with newfound perspectives.

There are many study away programs and opportunities available to Taft students. Representatives from study travel groups visit campus throughout the year, and our faculty can also make informed recommendations. Programs popular with Taft students include:

Theresa Alves de Oliveira Honored by the Global Online Academy

Theresa Alves de Oliveira’s Global Online Academy (GOA) capstone project has been selected for inclusion in the GOA Catalyst Exhibition Showcase. Theresa’s project was among only 53 chosen for inclusion from a field of more than 950 projects.⁠

Leadership Affecting Change

It was a pairing that was meant to be: Taft’s longstanding connection with The Island School, and Upper Mid Sean Dunbar’s longstanding connection to the island, itself.