A Closer Look: Exhibition Days at Templeton Academy

Kalee Barbis, Head of School Nashville

When I began looking into the Templeton Academy model back in 2017, one of the events that stood out to me the most included Exhibition Day. This quarterly event showcased Student work as they enthusiastically described what they learned in classes. As I wandered through the DC Exhibition Day, I looked at a beautiful photography portfolio that captured a Student’s learning. She designed a product for her class, created a strategy around brand marketing, and then made a portfolio. She explained how much she enjoyed the process as she learned more about financial planning for economics. Another Student told me he felt confident he did not want to go to law school after doing a series of essays analyzing laws for his US History Class.  At 17, he knew he wanted to pursue a different path and I marveled at his confidence. 

When Templeton Academy Nashville opened its doors, I could not wait for our first Exhibition Day. The building buzzed with Students explaining all their learning and humming with energy as we welcomed over 300 people into our doors that night. Our second quarter, we did the same. Unfortunately, our third quarter Exhibition Day was scheduled for the same day as everything shut down for COVID-19. 

As we entered the 2020-2021 School Year, we knew we needed to make adjustments to bring this beloved tradition back. In our first quarter, we did a very paired-down event, complete with limited tickets, a dedicated route, and time limitations. This quarter, with rising COVID–19 numbers, we shifted to an online Exhibition Day. These projects are incredible. From a student capturing Ancient History with her Egyptian Jewelry Line in 6th grade to 9 part cityscape projects in Geometry, these projects are truly something special.

What we know is this: Project-Based Learning is different from a traditional class that may include just assessments or papers. It asks Students to get creative, project a plan, and present new knowledge. It takes exploration, creativity, critical thinking, and more. These projects make up the basis of each individual’s portfolio- and contribute to Students sharing their passions and purposes. 

We invite you to explore Exhibition Day at Templeton Academy Nashville’s 2020-2021 through our Instagram videos and virtual Exhibition Days in Templeton Academy DC and see just how our Students are learning with purpose.