Bishop Walker School Test Drives Living Classrooms’ New Model of Hybrid Environmental Education in the COVID Age

July 31, 2020

The Living Classrooms educators of Kingman and Heritage Islands have adapted our on-site Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) into a virtual program for 4th and 5th grade students at Bishop Walker School for Boys this summer. Michael Molina, who was recently hired as the new head of the school is also the founding director of a wrap-around student support program for underrepresented boys at Gilman School in Baltimore. Living Classrooms’ close relationship with Gilman School has opened up an opportunity to serve a new population of students in the DC area.

The comprehensive education model is student-led through inquiry, investigation, and action on environmental issues, with support and guidance from live online sessions from our educators. Our goals are to increase curiosity, prepare for outdoor observations, and engage students in making changes individually and in their community that protect the environment and reflect environmental justice.

Building on the successful hybrid learning model that has been developed by Living Classrooms’ education team in recent months, the summer program is bringing its hands-on model to students homes by providing Activity Boxes so they have the physical tools to build a model, plant seeds, examine objects with a hand lens, and explore how our homes and environment are connected. Each lesson presents environmental issue definition, promotes investigation, and introduces the idea of action projects that result from our inquiry and observations.

The success of this program model has the potential to transform how other DC schools deliver their environmental education lessons during the coming school year, as teachers continue to seek out additional virtual learning opportunities.

 

Living Classrooms Staff Writer