News From the Field Studies Centre | Place Based Academic LearningJohn Blois
The young men on the Field Studies Programme (FSP) engage in a ‘Place Based’ approach to academic learning during their residential term. This means that wherever possible, the campus and the surrounding Shoalhaven region become the focus of the boys’ studies. On-site and off-site fieldwork are key aspects of the overarching pedagogical approach, and the students are encouraged to apply their subject specific skills and knowledge in the field. Once a fortnight the boys engage in a Place Based Inquiry (PBI) day where they can pursue an area of interest that has a relationship to one of the core subjects studied while on the FSP. The students plan their own timetable and select their own learning spaces on the day, with the goal being to:
- Encourage curiosity about the place they are living and learning in and the issues that they care about
- Promote agency and provide the boys with time for self-directed studies in order to foster personal wellbeing and academic success
- Assist each boy to develop and practice skills in self-management for learning
The boys began fleshing out their inquiry questions today and explored a range of the learning spaces on offer at the Field Studies Centre (FSC). Several of the boys are interested in how they can improve their fitness and sporting performance, some are keen to design new features for the campus mountain biking trails, while others are committed to expanding their skills in scientific investigation. Workshop sessions facilitated by staff on the PBI days provide an opportunity to share subject specific expertise and assist the boys deepen their inquiry projects. The academic staff at the FSC look forward to learning more about the creative PBI ideas that the boys on FSP 3 are generating, during the remaining weeks of this term.
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