A Look Inside (and Outside) the Classroom
These fourth-graders restore a hiking trail and, in the process, learn about soil erosion and invasive plants.
On our tours, you'll see plenty of examples of active, engaged learning taking place in our classrooms. But we believe learning shouldn't be confined to a classroom! Our curriculum includes outdoor opportunities like gardening and habitat restoration right here on our 21-acre campus. We want to foster a love of learning inside the classroom and out.
On Nov.15, Bill Earley led his class of fourth-graders down to Trinity's nature preserve. The on-campus excursion was just one facet of a social studies project.
"We look to restore native spaces to create a healthy and diverse wildlife community," said Mr. Earley, who teaches science and social studies at Trinity. "We're addressing our community space and working to create an environment where wildlife can coexist with us."
This trail restoration project is designed to increase students' awareness and appreciation of their natural environment and to instill a higher level of work ethic and stewardship. Students discuss urban sprawl and development, habitat fragmentation, and loss of natural resources. They also analyze population data to determine if the project has had a positive effect, both for individual species and the wildlife community as a whole. Then students use their knowledge to educate others by building presentations and leading parents on tours.
"In social studies, students develop ways of thinking drawn from many academic disciplines," Mr. Earley said. "They learn how to analyze their own and others’ opinions and ideas on important issues and hopefully become motivated to participate in their communities as active and informed citizens."
Learn more about learning opportunities beyond the classroom at austintrinity.org/beyond.