Taking Class Outdoors with Environmental Education

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Distance Education Specialist

Great video, it just shows

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Great video, it just shows the depth and value of field trips. If I ran the world I would put children on field trips once a month to go explore the world around them.

I think for getting vast

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I think for getting vast knowledge on environmental studies,Project based learning programs are one of the most efficient media to understand theories from well-planned practical experiences.Interesting concept that emphasizes basically on practical learning programs.Escort Melbourne

Project-Based Learning

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Working with a high school special needs population in a low socio-economic area, the majority of my students have poor academic skills and self-esteem. These issues would be effectively addressed in the Environmental Studies Program by providing problem-solving, relevant and an individualized approach to learning. Academic skills would be taught through content areas. Furthermore, students would benefit by developing social skills. An appreciation of the environment would be of value through the benefits of being outdoors and attaining a more healthy lifestyle conducive to lifelong learning.

Many students learn through

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Many students learn through tactile-kinesthetic means which would be addressed in a the Minnesota project-based environmental studies program. However, it would offer very little benefit to the students to experience only one week of this outdoor education and then return to the traditional classroom which is often rote, standards-based learning only to be forgotten after assessment. The Mission Springs' project offers a plethora of meaningful, problem-solving learning activities which is engaging and highly relevant to individual needs.

For those who can't bull doze their current school...

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Great program, but what can you do in a stagnant district that is not looking to build new schools and can't afford to retrofit? There are many exceptional outdoor education programs (at least in the state of CA) that give students a week long taste of this sort of experience. The methods they learn in that week often carry over back into their traditional classroom. See this study:
http://www.air.org/news/documents/Outdoorschoolreport.pdf

If you're in central or northern CA, attending a program like Mission Springs' http://missionsprings.com/oe.html will at least activate a love and respect of nature and science that students would not otherwise realize they had. Plus the team building skills and exploration methods they learn at science camp will carry over back into their "box" classroom... no expensive architect required.

thaobui (not verified)

At this kind of school

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At this kind of school students know what they want and getting the support what they need… This school not only provides students with academic knowledge but also social skills, life skills and confidence by taking class outdoors instead of sitting in class and listening.

Syreeta (not verified)

Hands on Experience

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Students should not be limited to textbooks. Hands on experience is what the colleges are teaching future teachers to incorporate in the classroo. Learning should not be limited to pencil and paper. Great Idea!

Syreeta (not verified)

Video

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Courses that I am currently taking in college offer a lot of hands on experience. Children that are not capable of learining and comprehending from a textbook need a lot of hands on experience. Testing and education should not be limited to paper. Great idea!

MIchele McConnell (not verified)

SES

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As a high school English teacher, a member of ASLE (The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment), and wife to a biologist/preserve manager, I am highly intrigued by SES.

I am constantly working to find ways to incorporate hands on studies like this in conjunction with my fellow science teachers; however, I am told quite often that the time it would take to set up any learning like this would deviate from standards based and testing instruction.

I would love to have a school like SES in San Diego. We do have a great plant population (the most diverse in the US). (If the school wants to expand out this way...)

However, as a wife of a biologist and a holder of a MA in Literacy and Reading, I am upset by the lack of texts. I know the video does not show everything. If we want to create more environmental study students, we should be opening their eyes to what it is like to read science text. It does not always have to be a text book. Science journals and research papers are much more difficult to sift through, but would serve as great mentor texts for those students. Also, in Southern California the Jepson Manual is used to help idea plants. The books being used by the students in the video are manuals for the "everyday curious" person who wants to know about plants in their back yard or local area. Why not teach them, with use of hand held microscopes and plant manuals?

The ideas are great, the working in the community and putting their ideas to fruition are awesome, but why not expand the learning? Go deeper. Then those kids could actually be in competition with their local colleges and universities!

Diane Main (not verified)

Yet another example...

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Yet another example of how the current way of "doing school" was designed for a 19th Century agrarian society, and it's only the exceptions to the rule that are actually giving students what they need to be successful in the real world. Standardized education HAS catered to the lowest standard for too long. I hope that by the time my son is in high school (he's five now), there is a program like this where I live that he can aspire to join.

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