The Ashokan Center’s unique hands-on and place-based educational programs foster inquiry, curiosity, and a love of life-long learning. We lead and host year round residential and day programs for K-12 school students and teachers, colleges and universities, and retreat groups.
Upon entering our grounds, visitors leave the hustle and bustle of the modern world behind. The Ashokan Center’s trails and outdoor campus offers students the opportunity to hike to the depths of the 350 million year old Cathedral Gorge and the Turnwood-Ashokan Covered Bridge (1885) or explore the lower Esopus by canoe or foot. Outpost classrooms like the Homestead, Lenape Village, the Writer’s Cabin and the Ropes Course dot the Ashokan landscape creating unique learning opportunities around every bend in the path.
Our 18th and 19th Century buildings and working craft shops: Winchell’s Inn (c. 1780), the 1817 schoolhouse, the Ashokan Barn and Barnyard, Blacksmith Shop, Print Shop, Pewter Shop, and Tin & Broom shops create the Ashokan village – a place where students, guests and visitors feel at home and inspired to learn.
While many of the experiences offered at Ashokan are timeless and the values we instill are enduring, the educational specialists at the Ashokan Center are highly attuned to the most current goals and standards of educational practice. Our programmatic series in history, natural sciences, community building, and the arts, are specifically designed to address the shifts in the Common Core Standards as well as trends toward STEM education, Stewardship/Service Learning and Sustainability.
Each program ensures students have time to explore and synthesize their experience through writing, reflection, group discussion and dialogue. Students are immersed in hands-on experiences and real world research that build authentic connections to classroom lessons, teachers’ goals, and 21st century skills.