Summer Term Sense of Wonder
Island School Summer Term 2011 is off to a great start. All 24 students have arrived safely, and we are already exploring the question of what it means to live well in a place.
Below are a few photos of our first morning exercise snorkeling the wreck just off our campus:
As we explored,we saw a nurse shark, a spotted eagle ray, and a variety of reef fish. We discussed the role of oatmeal algae and the human ecology of conch.
Every time I start a new term with students, I am drawn back to one of my favorite quotations by David Orr in his essay “A Sense of Wonder”:
“D.H. Lawrence once said that “Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing that makes it water and nobody knows what it is.” It is magic, the kind that can only be found in nature, life, and human possibilities once we are open to them. The kind of education I have in mind takes young people out of the classroom to encounter the mystery of the third thing. In that encounter they discover what Rachel Carson once called the “sense of wonder.” And that is the start of a real education.”
The education of Summer Term 2011 is well under way.
First thing tomorrow morning half of the students will head off kayaking while the other half does our first ever one day South Eleuthera Road Trip (SERT!). We will all camp together on the beach and then swap. There is no better way for us to orient students to place than to get out and explore. Look forward to more updates early next week once we are back on campus and have some time to share our experiences.