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Outside the classroom: Royal Roads opens outdoor learning space

October 12, 2018
By: 
Lisa Weighton
Terry Power speaks at the opening of the new Terry Power Outdoor Classroom.

Prof. Terry Power’s dream of creating an outdoor space for students to connect to their learning and the environment came true this week with the official opening of the Terry Power Strategic and Advanced International Studies Outdoor Classroom Oct. 12.

Power, one of the longest-serving professors in the School of Business, donated $100,000 toward the project.

Integrated with the new Sherman Jen Building, an environmental science and innovation hub, the outdoor learning space is surrounded by trees and can accommodate up to 50 students.

Bill Holmes, dean of the Faculty of Management, says Power’s gift is just the latest example of his commitment and care for students.

“Students always refer to Dr. Power as one of their favourite instructors,” he says. “Now he has given us this gift of a garden-like classroom as a place to reflect, to energize, to remember and for that we thank him.”

Without podiums or PowerPoints, the classroom leaves plenty of room for critical thinking and rich discussion, Power says.

“In my classes, there are no right or wrong answers,” he says, adding that any topic is fair game in his courses, provided discussions are respectful.

Power says discussing difficult political and religious matters, or debating the merits of globalization and nationalism are key to understanding our views and biases.

“This classroom is dedicated to finding those facts on both sides of the argument,” he says. “That’s my dream for this place and I hope a lot of those discussions take place here.”

Learn more about Terry Power and his vision for the outdoor learning space.