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ERIC Number: ED443620
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Caring Capacity: A Case for Multi-Age Experiential Learning.
Tangen-Foster, Jim; Tangen-Foster, Laurel
Electronic Green Journal, spec iss 9 Dec 1998
A multi-age summer adventure camp at the University of Idaho offers 4 days of challenging activities in the wilderness to elementary age students, junior high leaders, high school counselors, and university interns. An associated private school offers up to 20 students, ages 3-10, an alternative to traditional public and private schools. Both programs derive significant benefits from multi-age, experiential learning in the outdoors. The multi-age setting heightens everyone's awareness of individual differences and the necessity for cooperation and mutualism. It maximizes the opportunity to develop leadership and interpersonal skills alongside peers of different ages to become assistant teachers who model appropriate behaviors and desired learning outcomes for younger students. In passing on important lessons in trust, responsibility, compassion, and conflict resolution, students develop self-confidence and empathy. Perceptions of failure are diminished because of a learning climate that embraces student diversity and individual as well as group accomplishment. Having shared common adventures, students remember the team. In this way, students develop an identity with the group, within wild places, and through the adventures they have experienced together. If their experiences in and with nature are positive, filled with success and support from others, students will be more inclined to care about what happens to others and more likely to become stewards of the natural world around them. (TD)
Descriptors: Adventure Education, Camping, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Group Dynamics, Higher Education, Interpersonal Competence, Mixed Age Grouping, Nontraditional Education, Outdoor Education, Preschool Education, Private Schools, Summer Programs
Full text at Web site: http://egj.lib.uidaho.edu/egj09/foster1.html.
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Idaho Univ., Moscow. Library.