Founding Inspiration

Our School is inspired and guided by different educational approaches and practices from around the world.

We are inspired by the educational philosophy of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Inquiry-Based Learning, Expeditionary or Experiential Learning, Reggio Emilia, and Finnish Education.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Primary students fieldwork. Exploring Siam Niramit

Our educational approach is guided by the philosophy in education by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

We follow a curriculum that is balanced between academic and moral education and a transdisciplinary teaching and learning approach that emphasizes the interconnectedness of all things and is based on real-life practices and problem-solving skills.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Kindergarten students at the Siam Musuem

Inquiry-based learning describes a collection of instructional practices designed to make students leaders of their own learning. As with other academic models, there is still a clear framework of standards and outcomes. The school and its teachers have a clear vision of what a student needs to learn and the skills they need to develop.

However, Inquiry-based learning experiences and curricula are organized in such a way that a student’s natural and intrinsic curiosity and passion to discover is capitalized on to drive the learning. Students inherently want to learn more about the world around them, answer questions, solve real problems, make real things, and have a positive impact on their community.

Experiential Learning

A Primary student in D-PREP Shops class building a chicken coop

Expeditionary or Experiential Learning is one of the most powerful holistic School design models today to deliver the promise of “deeper learning” to all students. It is a vision of a school that can trace its roots all the way back to the thinker Kurt Hahn, whose ideas influenced and helped found such institutions as the IB, United World Colleges, and Outward Bound.

At the heart of Experiential learning is an expanded vision of what student achievement looks like. Traditional schools tend to focus simply on academic achievement measured with tests and quizzes inside the contrived environment of the classroom.

Experiential Learning pursues excellence of student achievement in three dimensions, mastery of skills and knowledge, character development, and intrinsically motivated high-quality student work. Pursuing balance and integration between these three dimensions of student achievement, experiential learning is a more rigorous form of education that better prepares students for success in a rapidly changing 21st Century world.

One of the ways teaching and learning look different in an Experiential Learning school is that students are asked to both acquire and demonstrate achievement in an authentic way that represents how professionals use their character and their skills In the real world outside of school.

The curriculum is organized into interdisciplinary “learning expeditions.” In these learning expeditions, students pursue the three dimensions of student achievement by investigating a real-world challenge while working in ways analogous to professionals. Students connect with experts and conduct fieldwork and engage in primary research. Students then produce real solutions and products that address the challenges they have researched. These products are presented to authentic audiences. When students see their work as real and meaningful, they are self-motivated to do their best.

Reggio Emilia

Our Kindergarten student in the Lightroom wooden tent

Reggio Emilia is an educational approach from Italy.  It is innovative and inspiring for early childhood education. The approach is student-centered, self-directed, and focuses on the many ways children learn.  The philosophy values the child as strong, capable, and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge.

Teachers and parents are co-learners and the students direct their learning through discovery and exploration which is documented through pictures, quotes, and artwork.

At D-Prep, we are proud to be a Reggio-Inspired school that uses the approach throughout our school and classrooms, as well as during Creative Exploration periods with more in-depth focuses.  We also kept this philosophy in mind while designing our school building, the outside structure, and inside the school and classrooms. 

Also, we focus our school and classroom documentation using this inspiring approach.  We document projects that are happening in the classroom by recording the children’s learning journeys with pictures, quotes, conversations, videos, and sample work from the children.

Additionally, Reggio has inspired many parts of our program at D-PREP including Projects, Creative Exploration, Light & Shadow Studio, Waterplay, Documentation, and Student Portfolios.