Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Experiential learning offers value beyond the classroom
Experiential learning provides students the time and space to participate in the process of learning by engaging in real life situations via hands-on activities and reflection.
At Near North District School Board (NNDSB), it’s a process that is valued and that educators are encouraged to use. Students learn by doing and reflect on the experience. It builds on student curiosity and empowers them to drive their own learning and make meaning from the work they are doing.
Examples of this take place in all schools in NNDSB, frequently in the outdoors. One example of this multi-faceted learning is the paddle-making exercise that Grade 6 students at Mattawa District Public School experience every year. Students incorporate math lessons using fractions and measurement. They learn technology safety procedures (working with tools) and incorporate social studies and history, in learning the historical and contemporary contributions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples.
The paddle-making exercise results in students graduating from the school with a custom, hand-made canoe paddle.
Pre-COVID, the exercise took place in the wood shop of F.J. McElligott Secondary School as a means of supporting the transition from elementary to intermediate school, which is in the secondary school building. Although the tradition was paused during COVID, the Outdoor Education Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students at F.J. McElligott look forward to once again teaching the Mattawa students how to use their paddles, the parts of canoe and boat safety. In the process of instructing the elementary students, in the annual paddle dip, the secondary students complete their practical canoeing exam.
This is one of the many ways learning and mentorship takes place in NNDSB schools every day.
For more information, please contact:
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170, extension 5010