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Adventure Education for the Classroom Community

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Empower your students instead of coercing them through punishments and external rewards. Engaged by the activities in this character education curriculum, students will choose responsible behavior. Help your students master communication skills, create plans, make decisions, solve problems, and resolve conflicts. Your efforts will build classroom communities that support character development, individual and social responsibility, and academic excellence.

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4 Chapters

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Part I: Getting Started

ePub

 

Discipline is not a simple device for securing superficial peace in the classroom; it is the morality of the classroom as a small society.

—Émile Durkheim, French sociologist

 

Chapter 1

Classroom Communities

In today’s world, we can no longer view schools as a kind of factory designed to mold students into a one-size-fits-all shape. Technology and a global community are transforming our society into one in which information has become the means of survival. Through school, television, and the Internet, we are often in contact with people outside of our own culture who may or may not share our values and with whom we may be expected to work. As our society changes, the goal of education must change along with it. We have a responsibility to prepare students for life in this ever-changing landscape. We can do this by teaching them skills of collaboration and providing a safe place in which they can make sense of their expanding roles.

 

Part II: Activities

ePub

The most important observation you can make is when you become a glimmer in the child’s eyes and he becomes a glimmer in yours.

—Albert E. Trieschman, American educator, psychologist, and writer

 

Chapter 5

Getting Acquainted

The challenges and activities in this chapter are designed to help you get to know your students and to help your students get to know each other. Most teachers understand the importance of getting to know their students and make a conscious effort to do so. Some plan specific activities and set aside designated times to make sure this happens. Others do it a little less formally, but they do it all the same.

Far fewer teachers understand the tremendous importance of helping their students get to know each other. Fewer still actually schedule activities and set aside time to encourage students to build relationships with each other.

While it is entirely possible to teach a class of students who do not know each other, it can be much more effective and much more enjoyable to teach a class of students who have built relationships with each other. Whether they know it or not, most teachers (ourselves included) have suffered the following effects of teaching in a classroom where the students are unfamiliar with each other:

 

Part III: Going Further

ePub

Provide a vehicle for honest, open communication to occur, and it will—the vehicle is the classroom community meeting.

—Ambrose Panico

 

Chapter 11

Putting It All Together: Community Meetings and Activities That Make Them Productive

The classroom community meeting is, at its core, an opportunity for teacher and students to sit down and talk about what is important to them. One week it may be important to discuss how individuals and the community can prepare for upcoming achievement tests. The next week’s agenda might include planning for a holiday celebration or a big field trip. It might also include developing a plan to avoid problems that have been occurring during physical education. Another week, a scheduled planning item might be postponed to allow time for the community to help two students address an ongoing conflict.

The classroom community meeting provides students with a wonderful opportunity to apply the skills and processes they have learned to real-life situations. If you have taken the time to teach them how to be active listeners, they should be able to hear each other. If they have practiced taking turns in conversation, they will probably allow a speaker to finish his or her thought before offering theirs. If they are in the habit of making constructive “I” messages, honest communication should be possible. The best part of having taught these skills is that if communication does break down, you have something to fall back on, to remind students of, and, if necessary, to re-teach.

 

Appendices

ePub

Benard, B. (2005). What is it about TRIBES?: The research-based components of the developmental process of TRIBES Learning Communities®. Windsor, CA: CenterSource Systems, LLC.

Caine, G., & Caine, R. N. (2001) The brain, education, and the competitive edge. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Caine, R. N., Caine, G., McClintic, C., & Klimek, K. (2005). 12 Brain/mind learning principles in action: The fieldbook for making connections, teaching, and the human brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Chappelle, S., & Bigman, L. (1998). Diversity in action: Using adventure activities to explore issues of diversity with middle school and high school age youth. Hamilton, MA: Project Adventure, Inc.

Frank, L. S. (2004). Journey toward the caring classroom: Using adventure to create community in the classroom and beyond. Oklahoma City, OK: Wood ‘n’ Barnes Publishing.

Gambone, M. A., & Connell, J. P. (2003). Youth development framework for practice. San Francisco and Island Heights, NJ: Community Network for Youth Development and Youth Development Strategies, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.cnyd.org/framework/index.php

 

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