Within These Halls of Learning

Learning Inside and OUT

 

Recently at the Unity in Education Lecture Series our parents and teachers heard Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, talk about the significance of getting our children outside. Mr. Louv cited research that strongly advocates allowing children the ability to regularly experience the natural world, and he praised independent schools for being on the forefront of this educational movement. At The Lexington School, we talk a lot about “experiential education.” Lexington School faculty are committed to making learning active, and often that means taking learning outside the four walls of the classroom.

Starting at age four all the way through 8th grade, Lexington School students go out-they walk our own beautiful 25 acre campus to explore and build fences; they adopt trees, discover leaves, forests, and fresh water with our naturalist in residence Jawanna Herd, and they build tents, tie knots, and practice survival skills with Mr. Johnson. English classes circle on the lawn and discuss literature while 2nd grade science researches the aerodynamics of their intricately designed paper airplanes. Art students with their clipboards and water colors paint the open sky.

Off campus our children hike Raven’s Run, Fort Boonesboro, and McConnell Springs; they explore horse farms, Kentucky history and architecture among many other outdoor learning excursions. In 5th grade, our students become master spelunkers at Carter Caves, while 6th graders experience a week at Green River Preserve in North Carolina learning about nature and themselves. The culminating experience in the outdoor classroom is with our 8th grade Southwest Journey. Our graduates, along with their teachers, spend a vigorous week in Zion National Park, biking, climbing, rafting, canyoneering, and camping.

At The Lexington School, active learning happens inside and outside the four walls of the classroom. All “field trips” are tied closely to curriculum, so they do make a difference. But mostly, having the green space for children to run and play and learn makes a difference too. You can ask Richard Louv, or you can take a look at our kids and see their individual success, happiness, and life-long love of learning.