In Rachel Huneault's combined Year 6/7 class, traditional teaching methods are combined with technology. To complement her outdoor lessons on environmental issues, Rachel has designed a program that allows her students to use an interactive telecommunications network that links 27 schools in Ontario, Canada. The benefits of this system are two-fold: through problem-solving and the exchange of ideas with many other children and teachers, students from a small, isolated community realise that they are not alone in their quest to preserve and conserve the surrounding forest. And at the same time they gain familiarity with computer technology.
Pekka Hynninen, a combined Year 5/6 class teacher in rural Finland, also uses nature as a teacher. Through a program of field activities his focus is on the study of geological history to explore environmental issues. He takes field trips into the surrounding forest, using scientific methods such as geiger counters, underground soil sampling and pH testing to allow his students to see and study for themselves the destructive impact humans have had on the natural landscape.
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