Posted by: Phil DeLong | September 18, 2015

Learning About Exploration and Wilderness By Exploring the Wilderness

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At Conserve School we leverage our motivated students, our dedicated, creative teachers, our flexible, learner-centric schedule, and our rich outdoor environment to facilitate meaningful learning experiences for our students. When practical, teachers coordinate with each other to create interdisciplinary experiences for our students that amplify their learning, and echo what they’re learning in each class. Early this week, all students spent an entire afternoon paddling and portaging through five lakes in the neighboring Sylvania Wilderness, as part of a collaborative history and English lesson.

Students have spent the past couple of weeks in Michael Salat’s history class learning about the the Lewis and Clark expedition of discovery in the west, and enjoyed the opportunity to not only read about the Corps of Discovery’s critical portage of the Great Falls of the Missouri River, but experience just a bit of what that might have felt like. In Jeff Rennicke’s English class, Wilderness Voices, students have been considering the role that wilderness plays in American life, and used this week’s experience to consider that more deeply while immersed in wilderness. At different times during the afternoon lesson, the students and teachers would raft up their canoes on the lake, or stop along the shore of a lake, to read excerpts from the journals of Lewis and Clark. At other times, the students and teachers would stop to discuss the nature and value of wilderness, and consider the impact of human actions and decisions on the present and future of wild areas. I’m confident that the lessons of the day are ones that these students will never forget.

Phil DeLong
Director of Enrollment and Student Support

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