Letter: Outdoor learning would benefit students | Opinion

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I am disappointed as we approach the start of school that neither the school board nor our superintendent has yet made plans to incorporate outdoor education into our activities for students and teachers.

Through my own experience, I have witnessed and used no better way to keep our children both educated and healthy than by using the wealth of learning opportunities that surround us with genuine and genuine opportunities. available on a daily basis to learn and do while respecting standards. Each of our school districts provides a treasure chest filled with history, social studies, science, and more, all tailor-made to spark curiosity, research, and meaningful individual and cooperative ways to inspire and, of course, to meet the standards.

As someone who has worked with and started projects using what I called ‘site specific education’, I have helped create and deliver a curriculum based on curiosity and what can be done. learn from the outside. One of these projects was funded by a joint effort between the NEH, the Disney and Gates foundations and other funders for $ 500,000. During my five years as director of this site-specific program, I have seen confidence grow, higher-order thinking skills improved, cooperation, mutual respect and “out of the box” thinking. blossom.

These curiosity-driven, outdoor and neighborhood programs are not only ways to encourage real-world learning, but are a healthy and essential way to help break the hold Covid still has. on the education of our children. While there are wonderful ways that teachers and parents have worked together to improve our outdoor physical environment, we must always ask ourselves why our children have not been encouraged or allowed to be a part of the planning, of the execution and use of these projects.

I ask all of us to consider site specific education for the benefit of all of us. Not only would our local people be introduced to the history and ecology of where we live, but we could learn to contribute to the learning of others while developing our sense of community and our social well-being. and physical.

To that end, I would be happy to volunteer my time locally to help set up this kind of practice. I could start with an initial workshop for administrators, parents and / or teachers from across the district that would look at site specific education and its potential use in our district.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected], if you are interested.

Marc Levitt

South Kingstown


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