What is an Enrichment Class?

What is an Enrichment Class?


By Andrew Katen

Enrichment classes are learning experiences that go above and beyond what is possible in the traditional school classroom.  With small student-to-instructor ratios, they create an environment in which students are free to explore individual interests, take full advantage of personal qualities (such as learning styles and temperaments), socialize with likeminded peers, and utilize their instructor as a mentor and coach.

Synonyms for “enrich” are: cultivate, develop, enhance, supplement, jazz up, and sweeten.  These terms all apply to the purpose and goals of enrichment classes.  Indeed, a well-designed and -facilitated class can:

  • Cultivate students’ natural abilities, personalities, interests and enthusiasm;
  • Develop abstract thinking abilities, as well as academic, organizational, and teamwork skills;
  • Enhance the process of learning by integrating various styles (e.g., visual spatial, auditory sequential, tactile, etc.);
  • Supplement traditional curriculums by introducing and integrating novel or advanced concepts, and purposefully applying them to achieve specific goals;
  • Jazzes up learning with hands-on activities, individualized projects, outdoor classes, lively discussion, and body movement;
  • Sweeten the experience by promoting an atmosphere of kindness, respect, enthusiasm, and encouragement – where individuals are free to be themselves and celebrate their unique perspectives, talents and abilities, and accomplishments.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing and teaching an enrichment class!  To be successful, the topics, format, and schedule have to reflect the interests, backgrounds, and circumstances of the students and instructor.   After all, individuals’ minds are as unique as fingerprints.  Why shouldn’t educational approaches and experiences be just as diverse?


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