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Outdoor Learning Environments: An Opportunity to Incorporate Authentic Local Elements and to Enhance their Potential with Community-School Collaboration 

Linda Stevenin, Learning Environment Specialist, Senior Architect, 

Noelani Hunt Sallings, President/CEO

Jill Gould, Santa Clara University, Fulbright Fellow & Senior Lecturer Emerita 

Vince Lattanzio, Principal

Artik Art & Architecture; Santa Clara University; Living Classroom; Carducci & Associates

Domains: Context, Toolbox, Learning, Process

Course Level: Beginner

Learning Units: 1  LU/HSW

Room: A601

Friday, October 27, 2017 @ 11:30 am


We will share ways outdoor learning spaces (gardens, courtyards, classrooms) can reflect – through student-driven projects – cultural, natural, and historical elements of the local community as well as ways that compelling curriculum and community resources, such as the non-profit Living Classroom, enhance the learning potential of these areas. After sharing experiences and images of projects, we will facilitate an interactive experience to explore – collaboratively – ways in which these approaches can be adapted to other locations.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Using specific local cultural and historical elements/references in the design of outdoor learning spaces
  2. Collaborating with students in creative projects that enhance the design and vision of the school
  3. Partnering with non-profit organizations to enhance the potential of outdoor learning spaces/classrooms
  4. Increasing the health (and joy) of children through hands-on experiences in outdoor school gardens (learning about/growing/cooking and eating natural food)