On opening January’s edition of National Geographic, the photo below accompanies the Editor’s Letter, which ends with the words above.
The photograph was taken by W. Eugene Smith who was a war photographer. He describes the moment of capture:
While I followed my children into the undergrowth and the group of taller trees – how they were delighted at every little discovery! – and observed them, I suddenly realized that at this moment, in spite of everything, in spite of all the wars and all I had gone through that day, I wanted to sing a sonnet to life and to the courage to go on living it….
This sums up the spirit of outdoor education, of which I am an enthusiastic advocate. As geography teachers, part of our responsibility is to attempt to instil the wonder of place in young people. Many automatically think of the wide world and heading off to far flung places for adventure.
However, as a fellow founding member of the Geography Collective and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison, has argued time and time again and the curriculum of Priory Geography have demonstrated; high adventure and outdoor delight can be found everywhere. Especially on school grounds and the local area.
- let young people design their adventures and let them take the lead;
- get out and embed learning activities that make use of the local area and school grounds;
- talk about the adventures.
Look out for a new #GeoEdChat, a Twitter based space for geographers to talk and share.