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A graduation requirement introduced in 2008-2009, the Independent Learning Experience (ILE) gives Winsor seniors an opportunity to pursue a specific interest independently. Each student designs her own project, guided by a faculty seminar leader and an expert mentor in her area of interest. Winsor students engage in the ILE during the final four weeks of senior year. The project culminates in a celebration where students present their projects to the whole Winsor community.

List of 5 items.

  • How does the ILE benefit students?

    Seniors have the opportunity to:
    • design their own educational experience
    • pursue passions and interests
    • deepen specific skills and increase understanding of themselves as learners
    • work with experts in their fields
    • learn essential work and life skills
    • engage in new experiences and new communities
  • How is the ILE evaluated?

    Throughout the project, each student’s project is assessed by a faculty committee based on the following elements:
    • regular documentation and reflection upon the work
    • weekly conversations about the project with the seminar leader
    • the overall “success” of the project, including the quality, depth, impact, and learning value of project
    • a final presentation to their teachers and peers
    • a final reflection describing the skills and knowledge gained as well as personal lessons learned in the process
    • written evaluation by the mentor/supervisor
    At the end of the process, all students participate in the ILE Celebration where projects are shared with the whole community. 

    Previous presentations have included:
    • visual art exhibits
    • musical and dramatic performances
    • film and video installations
    • hands-on demonstrations
    • lectures and short talks
    • displays and posters
  • What do projects mean for students?

    While completing their projects, seniors learn more about themselves and what they want to do in the next four years. In addition, students discover the value of the lessons they learn outside the classroom.
  • What opportunities are available?

    Project topics are wide-ranging and fall into several broad categories:
    • substantive volunteer work for school or
    • community programs
    • medical or scientific research
    • business or political internships
    • environmental conservation
    • academic or creative independent study
    • apprenticeship in the visual/performing arts
    Examples of specific projects include:
    • volunteering with local service organizations such as Rosie’s Place and Second Step
    • working with teachers at the Greenwood School in Dorchester
    • conducting medical research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    • learning to build furniture from scratch
    • studying horticulture and gardening with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
    • interning with an immigration attorney
    • creating a short film
    • recording original songs
    • researching medieval texts
    • working in the marketing department at New Balance
    • learning to build furniture
  • Mentor Information

    Internships give a senior a taste of what it takes to do a specific job or work in a particular profession. The internships often consist of real assignments and job-shadowing experiences, oversight by an experienced mentor who can provide context and feedback, and participation in relevant meetings. Many seniors choose the option of engaging in a substantive community service assignment, working directly with people in need or on an important social issue. Service assignments are similar to internships, in that they involve a skilled mentor who helps make the experience full and meaningful for the student.
    If you would like to mentor a Winsor senior for her ILE, please click here to fill out a survey so that an interested student can contact you.

ILE Photo Gallery