Each week, students engage in a deep study of something they are passionate about. These teacher-, student-, and community-member designed courses of study are rigorous, inquiry-based, and experiential. Passions classes work to create the culture and conditions that will allow students and teachers to reach a state of flow while engaged in something they are intrinsically motivated to do.
TPS students have an opportunity to choose a passion class and engage in a multi-age class with peers who share their interest. These courses of study are directly and intentionally linked to developing the Habits of Heart, Mind and Voice. Teachers use the same curricular and assessment process in designing, implementing, and evaluating the Passions curriculum. The philosophy of our passions classes is based largely on the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of flow. Flow is a state that is reached when one is so engaged in an activity that all sense of time, and possibly place, is temporarily lost. For example, an artist may be “in flow” while painting and an avid gardener while gardening.
Passions classes take place four afternoons per week, during most weeks of the academic year. Students select a new passions experience every three to six weeks, depending on their interests.