It has been an exciting week at INDE! We had the first meeting with our newly formed Educational Advisory Group (EAG), a team of 24 teachers who have volunteered their time to assist INDE in the educational program development for the Little Red Nature Campus (LRNC).
On Monday evening, EAG met to learn more about INDE, project based learning, and each other. This wonderful group of teachers discussed the impacts, benefits and challenges of a project based, teacher-led, outdoor learning environment. Much of our discussion focused on the “why”: Why alternative learning environments are good for students, teachers, parents, school districts, and the community. Discussed alongside of those benefits were challenges that might come with planning and advocating an educational program like LRNC.
This is the first of a series of meetings we envision for this group. Goals for EAG are to 1) develop and further project-based, teacher-led, and outdoor learning environments in the Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD), 2) determine how to best serve students with educational disadvantages in those environments. We anticipate meeting over the summer to use the momentum started at this meeting. Our future meetings will focus on the “how”: How do we advocate for alternative learning environments in the ECASD? How do we move toward opening the LRNC?
INDE is incredibly grateful to the EAG members, district teachers willing to take time away from their many other demands to serve on this team. I am energized and excited to be working with such a passionate group of educators and look forward to our many conversations about new directions in education for our students!