Posts Tagged:

Experiential Education

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    [ID] => 156692
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-04-27 16:51:55
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-27 22:51:55
    [post_content] => 

Dragons was featured in a New York Times article discussing Gap Year ideas for college students who are considering alternative options during this time of uncertainty.
That’s the essence of the gap year mind-set: Teenagers who are ready for challenges can find ways to achieve their goals. And just as a traditional education is about preparing a young person for adult life, learning to be resilient in handling the challenges of an unpredictable gap year can build valuable life skills as well.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ONLINE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES.

 
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[post_title] => DRAGONS FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES: GAP YEAR IDEAS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS [post_excerpt] => Dragons was featured in a New York Times article discussing Gap Year ideas for college students who are considering alternative options during this time of uncertainty. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dragons-featured-in-the-new-york-times-gap-year-ideas-for-college-students [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-28 12:39:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-28 18:39:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 46 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 46 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 641 [name] => About Dragons [slug] => about_dragons [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 641 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [parent] => 0 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 9 [cat_ID] => 641 [category_count] => 47 [category_description] => Press, Essays from Admin, and Behind-the-Scenes HQ. [cat_name] => About Dragons [category_nicename] => about_dragons [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/about_dragons/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 16 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 16 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => For Parents, About Dragons ... )
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    [ID] => 156673
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-04-21 11:03:01
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-21 17:03:01
    [post_content] => Last night I stepped out into the front yard and was met by a numinous presence. It was 9:30 pm, and our neighborhood, the nearby highway, and streets were bathed in silence. The languid moon slid in and out of clouds, leaving me awestruck at the texture, volume, and animate character of the sky. 

An hour earlier, I sat with my seven-year-old as she broke down in tears of fear and sadness—not the typical bedtime tears of disappointment—her embodied response to the uncertainty and isolation she feels during these weeks without school or friends.

My evening’s juxtaposition between the heartache of loss, and my awe at the mystical power of the night sky is representative of our collective family experience. It is a roller coaster of ambiguity and uncertainty expressed by colleagues, friends, and the global community at large.

The familiar refrain echoes that we are in “uncharted territory;” there is a great deal of uncertainty as to how we will get through this, and what life will look like on the other side. As the depth of this portal is exposed, we’re coming to terms with the reality that we may not “get back to normal.” We are all together on a transformative journey that will leave us with a world different from what we have known.

 

[caption id="attachment_156687" align="aligncenter" width="566"]Andes and Amazon Mountains Gap Year Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Instructor.[/caption]

 

How do we navigate the COVID era?

Confronted with the uncertainty and ambiguity of our current social environment, the value of global experiential education pedagogy comes into focus. Represented by organizations such as the Independent School Experiential Education Network (ISEEN), and the Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG), global experiential programming exposes students to challenging and unfamiliar cultural environments that evoke a clarification of values and foster cultural competencies. Courses are often designed to be disorienting, bewildering, and to present uncertain circumstances. In short, it can look and feel very much like the situation we find ourselves in today.    Over the past ten years, Independent Schools have invested in global experiential education programs. The shift also marks an active investment in educator skill-sets, pushing the role of teachers to include mentoring and facilitating students. Teachers increasingly find themselves holding space as students navigate unfamiliar and challenging environments in a way that fosters growth and learning. The unique skills needed to guide such programs are the same that apply to the uncharted and emotionally charged future we are confronted with today. At this critical time, we are invited to lean into the discomfort, to work with students to question the norm, and empower them to write their own narratives of what our future will look like.   [caption id="attachment_155968" align="aligncenter" width="574"]High School Summer Abroad in Thailand Photo by Arwyn Drew, Student.[/caption]  

How will schools respond to this moment in time?

While we may not be able to offer group travel programs, now is the time to double-down on the practice of global experiential education, and recommit to this progressive shift. But based on check-ins with Independent School colleagues, the response to COVID-19 is mixed. Some report struggles in trying to keep with a rigorous academic schedule. Others have responded by reducing the focus on global education and laying off the Director of Global Education, while others are continuing to forge ahead, investing in capacity building, and feasible models for experiential education in the new era.  
The unbounded vastness of this global pandemic is overwhelming. It can easily lead to tears and despair. Such an uncertain challenge triggers the fight or flight response. For schools, it may seem that the safest path forward is to revert to what we know best—content learning within the structures of traditional disciplines—or to impose outdated educational structures on a new and dynamic reality.
  But there is another option: The option to give pause and to foster, in ourselves and our students, an openness to the awkward spaciousness before us. Paramount to the practice of global, experiential education, is creating space within our overbusy schedules to reflect on and honestly question current social and environmental realities around us. Indeed, perhaps the greatest, most revolutionary facet of experiential education is reflection; inviting students to evoke questions, clarify values, challenge beliefs, and hone opinions based on firsthand experience. The car has stopped;, we have the opportunity to get out, spread the map on the hood, and plot our course forward.   

How do we rise up to this challenge?

Transformation is not without pain; the deconstruction of what was, is a necessary precondition to create space for what will be. A new education, without the defining markers of 45-minute periods, four walls, and students moving along the assembly line of content acquisition is possible! We have been presented with a crack in our social and educational systems in which we might plant a new seed. Moments of crisis can lead to rapid institutional transformation —otherwise impossible in normal times.   In this crisis, we are called upon to be guides and mentors, empowering students as they cautiously emerge from this crisis into a new world—one in which the ability to navigate uncharted terrain is paramount. The great skill of holding space, and leaning into the discomfort of new realities is now more important than ever. It is the mandate of global and experiential education to do so, allowing students to access their inner wisdom and write their own narrative of this historical moment.   And we can expect that the ambiguity found in this “uncharted territory” will be the new norm, whether it results from another global health pandemic, the impacts of climate change, or the need to negotiate limited resources amongst an expanding global population.   
Right now, we are being asked to embrace the spacious clearing this great storm has left in our lives—not to get back to an over-busy schedule as soon as possible. We should leverage the practice of global experiential education to guide students, and ourselves, through this transformative journey by slowing down, building relationships, and looking inward. If we do, we may learn to listen to the numinous wisdom of the night sky, or more importantly, clarify values from our own tears and emotions. We may find, as an educational community, that there are many things here in this spacious clearing we can take with us as we move forward. 
  [caption id="attachment_156686" align="aligncenter" width="570"]Nepal Gap Year Mountains Photo by Nina Redpath, Student.[/caption]

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[post_title] => INTO THE UNKNOWN: WHY GLOBAL, EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION IS NOW MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER  [post_excerpt] => In this crisis, we are called upon to be guides and mentors, empowering students as they cautiously emerge from this crisis into a new world—one in which the ability to navigate uncharted terrain is paramount. The great skill of holding space, and leaning into the discomfort of new realities is now more important than ever. It is the mandate of global and experiential education to do so, allowing students to access their inner wisdom and write their own narrative of this historical moment. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => into-the-unknown-why-global-experiential-education-is-now-more-important-than-ever [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-05 17:33:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-05 23:33:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 700 [name] => For Parents [slug] => for_parents [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 700 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [parent] => 0 [count] => 46 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 700 [category_count] => 46 [category_description] => Blog posts specifically curated for parents wishing to know more about Dragons culture, programs, company, and community. [cat_name] => For Parents [category_nicename] => for_parents [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/for_parents/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 653 [name] => Global Community [slug] => global_community [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 653 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [parent] => 0 [count] => 41 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 6 [cat_ID] => 653 [category_count] => 41 [category_description] => Featured International People, Places, Projects. [cat_name] => Global Community [category_nicename] => global_community [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/global_community/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 670 [name] => Recommended [slug] => recommended [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 670 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [parent] => 0 [count] => 16 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 11 [cat_ID] => 670 [category_count] => 16 [category_description] => Recommended reading, watching and listening. [cat_name] => Recommended [category_nicename] => recommended [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => For Parents, Global Community ... )
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    [ID] => 156603
    [post_author] => 1530
    [post_date] => 2020-03-31 14:23:22
    [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-31 20:23:22
    [post_content] => Here are 3 Dragons activities that you can easily do at home focused on goal setting, gratitude, & connection.

We are sharing some of our resources to keep positive! Dragons programs focus on creating meaningful connections to self, place, and the planet. Though our mission generally happens abroad, the work we do can definitely translate to life at home.

We’re all about silver linings, taking things in stride, and trying to learn from whatever life throws at us. Hopefully, these activities offer some inspiration, perspective & laughs during these challenging times. 

3 Dragons Activities for YOU! 

Gratitude Personal Reflection

Grab a notebook and pen. Take 5-10 minutes to free-write a list of all the things you are grateful for. Do your best to fill at least one page. Once you have completed your list, take some time to consider:
  • The why behind each of your bullets 
  • Are there any people in your life that stand out on your list? Have you shared your gratitude with them? 
  • Has COVID-19 changed how you feel about anything on your list? Given you any new perspectives? Made your gratitudes specific to this time in history? 
  Take action:
  • What are 3-5 things that you can do to share & express your gratitude? 
 

10 Minutes of Fame - Connecting more Deeply with Friends & Family 

Set up a zoom meeting with friends, or do this activity with your family over dinner. One at a time, select someone in your group to be in the ‘hot spot.’ The person in the hot spot then answers questions from the crowd about their life, beliefs and thoughts on just about anything.  Sample questions:
  • What’s your favorite food? Why?
  • What is your best childhood memory and how did it shape your life today?
  • If you had unlimited resources to spend 24-hours however you wanted, what would you do?
  • Name 3 important people in your life & share more about your connection with them.
  • In an alternate universe, what would your life be like?
  • What’s the weirdest thing you've ever done? Smelled? Eaten? 
  • What is something that you are proud of?
  • What is something that most people don’t know about you?
  • What do you need right now & how can we support you?
  • If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?
 

Magic Statement - Goal Setting 

Choose a period of time in the future (e.g., January 2021, the end of the summer, through the end of shelter in place, etc.) and think about the things you want to accomplish by that date. Visualize yourself standing in that future moment of time looking back at the weeks, months, or years behind you. From that perspective of your future self, journal about your “past” goals and accomplishments and how you reached them. For example, your journal prompt may be something like, The summer of 2020 was the best summer of my life because...  or My junior year was the best year of high school because…  Write down the things you have accomplished in the past tense as though you’ve already achieved them. Make sure to include the steps that you needed to take in order to reach your aspirations. It has been shown that looking backward at your imagined successes can help turn them into reality.   
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[post_title] => 3 Dragons Activities to Stoke Your Inspiration  [post_excerpt] => We are sharing some of our resources to keep positive. Dragons programs focus on creating meaningful connections to self, place, and the planet. Though our mission generally happens abroad, the work we do can definitely translate to life at home.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-dragons-activities-to-stoke-your-inspiration [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-21 11:27:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-21 17:27:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 655 [name] => Continued Education [slug] => continued_education [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 655 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [parent] => 0 [count] => 14 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 3 [cat_ID] => 655 [category_count] => 14 [category_description] => Continued Education, Webinars, Curriculum, Transference. [cat_name] => Continued Education [category_nicename] => continued_education [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/continued_education/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 638 [name] => From the Field [slug] => from_the_field [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 638 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [parent] => 0 [count] => 71 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 4 [cat_ID] => 638 [category_count] => 71 [category_description] => Featured Yaks, Reflections, Quotes, Photo Spreads and Videos from the Four Corners. [cat_name] => From the Field [category_nicename] => from_the_field [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/news/category/from_the_field/ ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 669 [name] => Engage [slug] => engage [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 669 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [parent] => 0 [count] => 23 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 13 [cat_ID] => 669 [category_count] => 23 [category_description] => Activism, Advocacy, Leadership & Organizing. [cat_name] => Engage [category_nicename] => engage [category_parent] => 0 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1 [name] => Uncategorized [slug] => uncategorized [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorized [category_nicename] => uncategorized [category_parent] => 0 ) ) [category_links] => Continued Education, From the Field ... )
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    [ID] => 153351
    [post_author] => 21
    [post_date] => 2018-07-19 11:50:06
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-19 17:50:06
    [post_content] => 

Experiential Education involves the use of hands-on exercises that engage multiple senses and learning styles.

For a fun example of what this looks like on a Dragons course, check out this "Metacognition" exercise in action on Dragons China: The Yangtze River summer program, subtitled, "Games to Visualize our Thinking" as facilitated by Zack Siddall and described by Tingting Xu...

Er Fo Temple is famous for its Chan Buddhist sculptures. Before leaving the temple, Zack organized a game with the intention of guiding students towards more awareness of their thinking and decision making processes – an important step before entering a mega city, like Chongqing, after a quiet and peaceful time at Er Fo Temple. The process of “sculpting each other” was a lot of fun for the group and helped them get to know each other even better as the journey continues. Hope you enjoy the video as much as we (instructors) enjoyed watching! – Tingting

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