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Mahopac Middle School's Adventure in the Classroom Program

Project Adventure is an approach to education, counseling, recreation, and life that is engaging, active, challenging, and places a high level of expectation within an atmosphere of support and caring. The impact of the approach is strongly felt with-in a group, where cohesion and cooperation are often achieved with surprising dispatch. Even more profound is the effect upon the individual, who develops clearer insights and a fuller appreciation of self (Prouty, 1989).

Project Adventure is a non-profit organization specializing in Adventure learning. For the past twenty-five years, we have been teaching professionals in corporations, schools, camps and therapeutic programs to use Adventure education techniques. When work is challenging, active and intriguing, we can be most effective. Adventure programs carry a depth of meaning and an impact that will be lasting in any context. We strive to give connective meaning to activities that stimulate and engage us as lifelong learners (Prouty, 1996).

How is Adventure in the Classroom Different Than Cooperative Learning?

Adventure in the Classroom should take place in an already established cooperative learning environment such as the T.R.I.B.E.S model or the Johnson & Johnson model; students should already be working in an environment where the following are occurring: 1) face-to-face interaction, 2) positive interdependence, 3) group processing, 4) individual accountability, and 5) collaborative skills. The Adventure in the classroom model adds three very important components to cooperative learning:

 

The Experiential Learning Model, The Full Value Contract, and Challenge by Choice

I. Experiential Learning Cycle

Experiential Learning is central to the Adventure in the Classroom model. It is often captured by the proverb, "What I see I forget; what I hear I remember; what I do I understand." Experiential learning is the difference between activity for activity's sake and activity as a first step in learning. The four part of the Experiential Leaning Cycle are:

1) activity, 2) reflection, 3)generalizing and abstracting, and 4) transfer.

       

II. Challenge by Choice

This operating principle is a unique feature of all Project Adventure programs and affirms that real learning occurs when individuals choose and commit to high standards for academic and personal goals that are meaningful to the individuals involved. A teaching and learning environment that operates by Challenge by Choice strengthens academic and interpersonal learning in at least three ways:

  • Accelerating cognitive growth through the encouragement of intellectual risk taking without fear of ridicule.
  • Modeling the learning and decision making that characterize adult life and work.; it requires students to be responsible decision makers.
  • Assisting in the building of a metacognitive framework; students consciously plan and deliberately reflect during their learning.

III. Full Value Contract

The Full Value Contract calls for students to respect the integrity, diversity, and strengths of the group at the same time that they respect and support the group as a whole. The Full Value Contract becomes an actual physical document that the students develop... it asks the following five commitments of the members of the adventure learning community:

  1. Be there
  2. Be safe
  3. Set goals
  4. Be honest
  5. Let go and move on

                            

Pedagogy in Short:

The four primary instructional strategies used in the Adventure in the Classroom Model are 1)adventure activities, 2)processing, 3)team learning and teaching, and 4) integrated curriculum. When facilitated in a nurturing classroom setting these strategies support-

  • multiple intelligences
  • diverse learning styles
  • problem solving and critical thinking
  • constructivism
Find out more about the Project Adventure strand of our Physical Education program at Mahopac Middle School.
If you want to learn more about Project Adventure, Inc. check out their homepage...palogor.gif (2908 bytes)

 

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