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Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, v22 n3 p11-12 Spr 2010

The integrated program that the author teaches--the Community Environmental Leadership Program (CELP)--begins with a five-night wilderness trip. Here connections to the Earth are clear: water comes from lakes, fuel comes from trees and waste decomposes in the soil below. Students learn quickly that they shouldn't pee in the water they are drinking. This is logical and easy to understand on trip. But on a typical day at home and at school, water comes from the tap, waste is flushed down the drain and fuel comes from a gas element on the stove. The learning is not as simple. The connections are not as clear. The author believes that to live sustainably on this planet, educators need to begin at home. Educators need to bring the wilderness trip lessons into daily life. The unit, called "bioregions," is an example of how he attempts to do this in an integrated program based in the City of Guelph. This unit can be taught in all settings, obviously tailored to fit each community. This is one of the author's most enjoyable units to teach and he believes it represents the essence of what an integrated program allows: full-day field trips, all by bicycle, no conflicts with other classes, and seven days when their community is the classroom and they never step inside the traditional four walls.

Descriptors: Fuels, Environmental Education, Field Trips, Water, Conservation (Environment), Sustainable Development, Relevance (Education), Integrated Curriculum, Foreign Countries, Outdoor Education, Leadership, College Faculty, College Students

Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario. 1185 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M3C 3C6, Canada. e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Autor: Elrick, Mike


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