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The Outdoor Learning Collaborative: Connecting Educators Through a Shared Practice of Exploration and Wonder

“The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.”

-Robert John Meehan

This quote nicely captures our motivation in establishing the Outdoor Learning Collaborative this past Spring, bringing together wonderful educators from Temple Emanuel, Denver JCC and Boulder JCC, and fostering collaboration among these schools. In our time together, we have shared our common passions for outdoor learning while exploring how to expand and strengthen each school’s current practices through an inquiry-based approach. Our journey took us from a summer retreat that included visiting a local forest school in Denver to exploring the diversity of each school’s outdoor classrooms this fall. Through our work together, educators have unpacked various tools to document their research questions and have shared their observations and constant wonderings about children and their development, gaining inspiration from each other along the way.

It has been a rich and rewarding experience to watch the exchange of ideas among such passionate educators, particularly the details of their challenges and successes, and to see firsthand their commitment to expanding their outdoor practices. We hope we have fostered an appreciation for the power of utilizing each other’s personal experiences and the relationships that have formed as a foundation for our shared learning.  We’re very proud of what everyone has accomplished so far and the bonds that have been built between these schools. We hope for this journey to continue beyond these beginning initiatives and to flourish and expand over time.