At DAA, our classroom instruction focuses on developing and nurturing the the whole child. We do this through a commitment to mastery of knowledge and skills, character development, and high-quality student work. Detroit Achievement Academy is proud to be an Expeditionary Learning school. Expeditionary Learning is based on the following design principles:

1. The primacy of self-discovery

Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support.

 2. The having of wonderful ideas

Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world.

3. The responsibility for learning

Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity.

4. Empathy and caring

Learning is fostered best in communities where students' and teachers' ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust.

5. Success and failure

All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges.

6. Collaboration and competition

Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear.

7. Diversity and inclusion

Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others.

8. The natural world

A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect.

9. Solitude and reflection

Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas.

10. Service and compassion

Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others.

Our innovative learning expeditions allow us to teach all subjects through the lens of a broader topic, so students learn in the context of the community and the world in which they live. Through learning expeditions, students engage in fieldwork, community service, and work with experts to complete in-depth studies in one or more subject areas. Expeditions culminate with projects and exhibitions that demonstrate mastery of standards. Teachers teach character separately, but also work to integrate our Habits of Character into academic learning subjects daily and in an authentic way.