Our instruction is a process of guided discovery and sensory exploration
Students witness ecological relationships in action and learn how trees, animals, water, earth and air participate with their respective environments. Students have first-hand experiences that develop their understanding and skills in many subjects, including:
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
- Physical Education
- Core concepts
Program lessons focus on 9 core concepts, of which 7 are ecological and 2 are interpersonal and socially developmental. The following descriptions detail Outdoor Education's treatment of each concept.
Adaptation refers to the changes in an organism's structure or behavior that enable it to respond to and survive in its environment.
The environment is in a constant state of change. Elements of an ecosystem, living and non-living, are moved from one state to another – such processes include succession, migration, and erosion.
A community is an area in which living organisms interact with each other to satisfy their basic needs – food, shelter, and reproduction. An ecosystem is an area in which living organisms – plants, animals – and non-living elements, such as soil, water, air, etc., function together as a unit.
Cycles and closed circular movement are common features in environmental systems. The water cycle, phases of the moon, and seasonal appearance of constellations are a few examples demonstrating the cyclic nature of environmental change.
Diversity is the unique genetic and behavioral structure of each organism that sets it apart from all others. Groups of living organisms function together thus forming unique environments. Diverse environments are less prone to radical shifts in composition because of the mix of organisms.
Energy sustains the interconnectedness of the environment. The sun is the ultimate source of energy on earth as all energy can be traced back to the sun.
Interdependence is the mutual reliance that two or more organisms have on each other for their own survival. All elements of an ecosystem are interdependent, directly or indirectly.
Interpersonal skills/social development concepts
- Decision Making
Decision-making is the development of an awareness and understanding of ethical concerns and their relationship to group and individual choices.
- Cooperation/sharing and caring
Cooperation is the concept of interdependence expressed through human interaction. Other people's involvement in a specific task or experience often makes it a better experience all around.
© 2017 San Mateo Outdoor Education