The Perks of Outdoor Education

by | Mar 12, 2019

Given RLC’s campus setting tucked away in Muskoka, one of Canada’s most beautiful areas and a go-to for rowing, hiking and outdoor sports of all kinds, outdoor education is a fundamental part of our curriculum.

Not only does our campus provide a picturesque backdrop that stirs creativity, inspiration and relaxation, our world-class faculty is able to integrate these surroundings into hands-on problem-solving. For example, our Advanced Functions courses can go down to the lake and experiment with functions by throwing stones and analyzing the ripples, taking the learnings from the textbook and putting them into practice.

Connecting the outdoors with the lessons learned in class gives students a unique opportunity to challenge their thinking, test their own hypotheses and come to a comprehensive understanding through doing, rather than just reading.

The joy of being outside can also help inform the teaching and create a more immersive experience for students. Reading Moby Dick in a canoe on the lake creates a much more real, visceral connection to the deeper meaning of Herman Melville’s classic than simply sitting at a desk.

Further, our special “outtrips” are incredibly valuable to help interact learning with the wider world, challenging students with complex problems that require teamwork to overcome, which can be translated back into the challenges students face in the classroom.

By bringing all of these different elements together, students gain the ability to think outside the box, consider different perspectives and come to creative solutions to complex problems. It’s about going beyond the breathtaking beauty of our campus and crafting this special bond with the outdoors into teaching moments that allow students to grasp greater understanding of the things they are learning, not just in their studies, but about themselves as well.

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