One of the greatest aspects of our curriculum here at Conserve School is our teachers’ ability to get students outdoors, engaging in hands-on lessons. As a semester school dedicated to environmental stewardship and building connections with nature, our amazing teaching staff make every effort to put our students out into the world, experiencing nature, and living what they study.
Michael Salat, our resident history teacher, takes his classroom outside often. This past week in history class, Conserve School students read portions of Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage, as part of their unit on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Unlike the average classroom, however, the learning didn’t stop after the reading. Students spent part of their class time actually working to build their own dugout boat, as Lewis and Clark’s team did on their journey. The hard, physical work of building a canoe and paddles, coupled with the rigorous academic demands of history class makes for a challenging, experiential curriculum. But, at Conserve School, when we work hard, we also play hard, and at the end of class on Friday students got to enjoy their fruits of their labor by paddling and playing in their very own canoe. It’s a very special thing to witness, students smiling and laughing and literally jumping for joy over history class.Paul Lovaas Graduate Fellow