Embedded in each of our outdoor and wilderness-based experiential education courses is the delivery of place-based learning, which was first introduced by David Sobel in his groundbreaking book, Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities.
Place-based learning connects students to history, landscape, geography, and people through the intense exploration of a specific area which, along the way, serves to help solve the area’s inherent or most recent and/or chronic challenges.
Here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), our field instructors are required to research and be knowledgeable about the history, ecology, people, and events that impact a course’s geographical areas. Instructors then share that information with each other, discussing how to tie data to parts of the NCOAE curriculum and/or a client’s Custom Program requirements.
Having this depth of knowledge binds content and curriculum. The result? No topic or subject is taught in isolation. For example, the study of flora and fauna connects to math, literacy, and science. And meeting and knowing people who helped shape the land through writings or active conservation of the area ties into global studies, communication, and environmental stewardship. In this way, place-based learning benefits educators, students, and communities. For instance: (more…)
Here at The National Center for Outdoor Adventure & Education (NCOAE), we just aren’t all that interested in touting the attributes of the materials and products we use while traversing the worldwide wilderness areas in which we work. But every once in a while, we’ll step back and look at a piece of outdoor gear that’s still holding up well despite its age and we say, “Damn, we’ve been hauling that thing around for longer than we can remember and it’s still working.”
In particular, we’re reminded of the Canyon Coolers that we have stored in various sheds and aboard our fleet of river boats and rafts, and we marvel at how well these coolers keep stuff cold after multiple years of use.
We were attracted to this Flagstaff, Arizona-based manufacturer when we bought up our first Canyon Cooler a number of years back. We were looking for a sturdy product that would hold up to our strenuous schedule of river trips.
As background, we run guided trips and outdoor educator courses on a number of rivers, including the Deschutes River in in central Oregon (a major tributary of the Columbia River); the Grande Ronde River in northeastern Oregon (a tributary of the Snake River); tributaries of the Amazon River found in Ecuador; and in many other waterways across the globe.
What we were thinking back then was that we need a bomb-proof cooler that would hold up to the challenges any gear undertakes on one of our outings. But you know what really sold us on Canyon Coolers? It was their attitude.
They stood there, looked us right in the face and said that their stuff would keep ice “on ice” for a mind-blowing 11 days.(more…)