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Course Information

Instructor Info:Karen Warren
Office Extension x5470
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Wednesday
01:00 PM - 05:00 PM Harold Johnson Library KIVA

This course will address issues of diversity and social justice in the outdoors. Current theories of social justice education, racial identity development, gender studies, and adaptive recreation will be applied to contemporary outdoor programming. Using experiential activities, readings, field visits, individual projects,and discussion, students will explore the importance of race, gender, ability, and class awareness in outdoor and environmental education work. 5-College students will be graded pass/fail.

Course Objectives:

The course is designed to examine social justice issues in outdoor, environmental, and experiential education as it is commonly practiced in the United States.  We will focus specifically on issues of race, class, gender, and ability in the outdoors.  A problem-solving and solution-focused approach will be combined with experiential activities, presentations, discussions and readings.  Students are encouraged to develop independent projects as an extension of the course.

Evaluation Criteria:

Social Justice in Outdoor Experiential Education Course Criteria and Expectations

 1.  ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION:  The foundation of this course rests on engaged participation from all involved therefore consistent, high quality participation in all aspects of the course is expected.  Students missing more than one class will not receive an evaluation (or Five College pass).  CEL-1 credit is available to anyone completing the course.

 2.  TEACHING SESSION:  You will have a 30 minute block of time to facilitate a mini-workshop on a specific topic pertaining social justice in outdoor experiential education.  Refer to the syllabus for topic areas.  A one page outline of your topic will be due on the Tuesday before the class meets so your teaching session can be effectively worked into the class flow.

 3.  READINGS FACILITATION:  You will have approximately 45 minutes to facilitate a class session that will effectively illuminate the readings for the day.  These sessions can be richly innovative and experiential and they must explore the readings in greater depth.

 4.  ACTION PROJECTS: Throughout the course, you will be asked to apply what you have learned in a series of action projects.  Projects may include interviews, research, letter writing, outside observations, and facilitation.

 5.  FINAL PROJECT:  Class Goal: To create as a class a packet of activities which have been adapted for social justice consciousness or inclusion, and/or can be used to actually teach about social justice.  Hopefully the final product will be something that we can use in the future or give to future employers as suggestions for program improvements.

Your Task: Each person should adapt one activity for social justice consciousness or inclusion and/or adapt an outdoor or environmental education activity to use to teach about social justice issues. Example adaptable activities: a specific earth living skill, solo, particular ropes course element, rock-climbing, a lesson about watersheds, etc. 

6.  SELF EVALUATION:  A 1-2 page reflection piece on your work and growth in the class and how you see it influencing your future work.