Submitted on 2015/09/29 at 8:05 pm
First I want to thank you for taking the time you write to our class! My question is if you have administrators that aren’t a fan of students going out side of the classroom how would you bring the natural environment to the students, inside the classroom.
That is a big question! I liked the way one author answered it:
Lisa Lusero (2006) names four kinds of experiences: “interacting with the real thing; interacting with evidence of the real thing, interacting with something comparable to the real thing and linking the real thing to something with which we interact” (p. 58).
I agree with her that there are all kinds of levels of “real.” I think it comes down to a matter of context. How many teachers teach big ideas without kids touching rocks, looking at pictures of local streams, comparing mountains to ones nearby and elsewhere in the world, giving assignments that ask kids to look around on the way home….. In the classroom they can touch bark, salamanders, hatch eggs….Teachers can have guest speakers, images of real places (not canned posters of who knows what), texts that address local issues, live animals.
It is not a matter of just getting out of school….Although that is something to aim for—there are many ways to bring, as one teacher said, “the out, in!”
Lastly—just a comment on administrators—While it is a reality that the funding and logistics of getting outside are daunting—it is really true that “where there is a will, there is a way.”