Sunday, July 6, 2008

Better than the Classroom

Are there better places to learn than the classroom? I've always felt that the best learning took place out in the real world, and while I regularly took my students on field trips to consolidate their learning, my twin brother has harnessed the natural environment as high impact teacher in ways few people can imagine.

Todd, entered the teaching profession at the same time that I did, but he found himself yearning to connect more deeply with learners than seemed possible in the classroom environment. Ten years after co-founding Northern Edge Algonquin with his wife Martha, my brother still has the spark for innovating in delivering unique learning experiences to clients from around the world.

With a vast national and international network, Todd has leveraged evolving read-write tools to collaborate with colleagues; to communicate with clients; and to share his expertise with others in the tourism industry. In seeming contradiction, he has uniquely and creatively connected the world of the web, with the web of the world.

While custom retreats at Northern Edge Algonquin might include kayaking; yoga; drumming; natural cooking; snowshoeing; or tracking, learning at 'the Edge' consists of unique and quintessentially Canadian experiences like "Morning Tea with Moose".

Although I have the opportunity to create unique learning opportunities for students and teachers alike, I suspect that I would enjoy it even more, were it possible for me to live, learn and teach in such close connection with the natural world.


mcluhansghost said...

What a truly wonderful and meaningful adventure your brother and his wife have established Rodd!

As one who has had the honor to lead students in the serenity of Algonquin I couldn't agree with you more - when you suggest that there are better ways to learn than the classroom. I wrote about my experiences -

Rodd Lucier said...

The experience you wrote about provided the compulsion for my brother to begin teaching in the real world. I think I have similar writing buried somewhere in a notebook based on the transformative experiences I had courtesy of the 'outdoor recreation' program at the faculty of Human Kinetics (University of Windsor) back in the mid-80's.

I hope your summer will find you, at least some of the time, in the wonder of creation...

Toddles said...

Wow, rodd thanks for the nice post. We love offering what are sometimes life changing holidays....