Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Alternative Practicum Reflections

During Alison & Lauren's 3-week Alternative Practicum in The Orchard Garden, they will be contributing reflections on their learning, activities, field trips, ideas & questions.  Here are their initial thoughts:

"After completing the standard 10 week practicum in a regular high school, the 3 week alternate practicum is a breath of fresh air – literally! Our observational visit to Landed Learning was a great reminder of how students react positively to learning in an outdoor environment that is so different from a typical classroom. Working and learning outdoors for most of this past week has been a refreshing influence on my ideas for lesson and unit plans for my teachable subjects. My plan for this practicum is to complete curriculum documents (at least one unit) for secondary subjects that incorporate gardens as learning environments. It’s also daunting to have to consider how much I can actually accomplish in 3 weeks! But I can always reassure myself that lifelong learning doesn’t have any deadlines. All in all, I am inspired to see that teaching and learning practices can take many different forms, and I am looking forward to exploring different lessons and teaching techniques in garden environments." - Alison

"Today is the first Friday of the Alternative Practicum here, at The Orchard Garden. I am loving it so far. Transitory phases are always a tad clumsy; my mind, stress levels, and physical self have all had to ‘switch gears’ this week. The past three months have been spent teaching Art 9, Art 11, and Ceramics 10 in Nelson, BC. Now, I am back in Vancouver and am experiencing a flood of ‘adult-face-time’. Conversations centered on pedagogy, curriculum, gardening, farming, food, art, and education have been in full force this week. In two words I would describe my feelings as ‘ultimate comfort’ or ‘ultimate happiness’. This first week has been filled with meetings, discussions, and emails about all of the possibilities for an alternative practicum. A few of which are signage, research, web design, ‘field trips’, workshops, newsletters, curriculum documents and resources, garden planning, plant variety selections, soil testing, community schools, Landed Learning, bees, planting seeds, mushroom manure, research, etc. So much to think about and collaborate on, but only three weeks!
Stay tuned to hear about our visits next week to some Learning Gardens and Farms…….
Thank the land,

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