Each year, students at The Sage School spend five full weeks immersed in experiences designed to meet the objectives of The Seven Tasks of Adolescence. This means that if a student completes the entire 6-12 Field Study program at Sage, they will have spent roughly one full academic year spent in the field. This gives the students an opportunity to spend a tremendous amount of time each year studying academic topics while building relationships with their teachers, fellow students, and experts in the field.
It is our belief that students will develop a deeper understanding of the overarching curriculum through real, first hand encounters with the natural, social, and built environments in the Intermountain West. It is important to note that we see this as “Field Studies”, not as “outdoor education” or “adventure-based education.” Our goal is not simply to teach them how to travel across the land or run a river, but to see the deep interconnections and systems that form our relationships to the land around us. The majority of our Field Study experiences occur within a 300 mile radius of our campus in Hailey, ID. This is done with the intent to explore the people, places, and events that support and create the economic, ecological and social systems where we live, work, play, and study.
The focus of the trips are not solely academic, however, as they feed the other components of adolescence, such as the social and emotional growth that our mission highlights. These experiences also develop and feed a healthy social dynamic within bands, provide critical time for self-reflection, and encourage students to engage our sense of place more richly. Challenges to kids comfort levels, group dynamics skills, and stick-to-it-ness can, and often do, arise in these various settings. This is where the work- planned or unplanned- begins. Some challenges are planned, such as a ropes course or a week in the backcountry. Others arise spontaneously and give students the opportunities to grow.