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University Affairs explores Terry Power outdoor classroom
University Affairs has featured the Terry Power Strategic and Advanced International Studies Outdoor Classroom, which officially opened Oct. 12 and can accommodate up to 50 students in an open-air learning space.
The article discusses the value of outdoor learning to post-secondary students and professors.
Here is an excerpt:
“Business may seem an unlikely discipline for outdoor learning, but David Black, an associate professor in Royal Road’s School of Communication and Culture, says ‘nature is written into every curriculum,’ adding that the new classroom is ‘not just for environmental education or biology classes.’
“Dr. Black recently used the classroom for a class in communication theory and media history. ‘I’ve always asked students to look at their own life as a laboratory,’ he says. ‘What the outdoor classroom does is it just makes that point less abstract.’
“Royal Roads student Annie Do had never taken a class in an outdoor classroom before Dr. Black’s course. ‘I feel like everyone was a lot more focused,’ says Ms. Do. ‘It eliminates distractions, almost because you’re so immersed in nature. You know that it’s there, but you are just totally focused on the voice of the instructor.’ […]
“For Dr. [Terry] Power, he takes his lesson from history: ‘Socrates did his best teaching without a classroom, without bricks and mortars, without PowerPoint. He did it by taking a small cluster and walking along the shoreline, having a conversation with his students.’”
This article first appeared in University Affairs.