When one thinks of education it is most often conceived of as a linear progression and typically follows an all too economically driven logic, in which one goes to school, achieves good grades and lands a decent paying job. Yet, education is a dynamic concept. In today’s society, education unfortunately usually consists of solely hitting on key concepts known to be tested for on state exams. Through this capstone class, we are reminded that education and learning is an organic process, in which the general process is highlighted rather than the lesson plan itself.
If one was to reflect back on their own educational experiences within our “modern” education system, the most cherished and memorable experiences are most likely the most organic ones that made use of all the physical senses. This quality is echoed in our “sensational senses” hike, in which we demonstrate to our students how all of our senses can play a role in discovering the answers.
In modern education, the concept of success lies mainly in the “correct” answer to the problem. On the other hand, this capstone allows us to more fully understand and value how true achievement lies in the process of finding the answer, rather than the answer itself. Along with this reshaping of the notion of “success”, we need to re-evaluate the true goal of education and embrace the gifts that we all bring to the community. We all cannot and should not pigeon hole ourselves to what we believe other people want or expect from us. We must tap into our own passion and allow ourselves to thrive in suitable environments for us, rather than forcefully squeezing everyone into cubicles. We as a society not only ought to allow for exploration and creativity, but should celebrate these qualities, rather than discrediting such goals by calling them failures or risk, or even labeling the individual as an oddball outside the realm of “normal” society.
The richest communities are the ones with most diversity in thoughts and dreams. Our education system should foster these dreams and aspirations and in turn we will be rewarded with a society that is self -confident, critically thoughtful, self-sufficient and unafraid of failures because failure is viewed as an opportunity to learn.
Jay, Jacklyn, Taylor, and Ben - Outdoor and Environmental Education