Life Topographies

Alzar School | 25.09.19

Each semester students are tasked with designing and implementing a Culminating Leadership Project (CLP) that addresses an issue they want to impact or change in their home community. Throughout their time at Alzar School, each student in the Capstone Leadership Course narrows their ideas for a project through various lenses. They think deeply about the need for their project, the resources they have to execute their idea, and their personal passion for the topic.

In preparation for planning their projects, Capstone Leadership Course instructor, Hattie, challenged students to zoom out and examine the topography of their lives – the peaks and valleys of their years thus far. Common high points include: starting a new sport, learning a new language, traveling and overnight backpacking trips. Frequently mentioned low points include: the death of a pet, transitioning to a new school, shifting friend groups and injuries. The outcomes of this assignment were beautiful, artistic drawn, linear topographies that now adorn the Confluence Building hall. 

Student life topographies displayed in the Confluence Building.

Apart from creating some fantastic artwork, this exercise helped students tap into their “funds of knowledge” by reflecting and examining the external and self-imposed events and impacts that have thus shaped who they are. This is just one example of how Alzar School, both in the classroom and out on expedition, prompts students to contemplate their past and future actions and realize their strengths, values and passions. Using their individual topographies as stepping stones, over the next few months students will start to craft, draft and re-work their CLPs. Through self-discovery and reflection, Culminating Leadership Projects are formulated around ideas that students are truly passionate about, have the resources with which to succeed and know will make needed, positive impacts on communities.