Our Pathways: A common threadDenise Goldman
My mind has been racing with the active learning and authentic experiential Pathways that UMA has become known and praised for. However, I have come to realize that Pathways are more than just hands-on activities. Collectively, they are a mindset with a common thread of how we as humans engage with the natural world.
To that extent, UMA students:
- Explore and Discover the natural world in River to River
- Extract and Transform natural substances in Essential Ingredients
- Garden and Cook in Edible School Yard
- Imagine, Devise, Build, Test, and Modify products in Design and Engineering
The common Pathways thread strategically and artfully weaves itself through our UMA curriculum in so many ways. Recently, 8th grade students in World Geography analyzed the continent of Africa through the lenses of the four Pathways: they could see how communities arose from the rivers; they mapped out the cuisines that arose from the vegetables, fruits, and spices that come from the soil; they learned how “essential ingredients” like diamonds and oil have led to human conflict and issues of exploitation; and they explored the structures and inventions discovered throughout the region.
Additionally, our students make connections to what they learn to the broader community. The Tangletown Gardens and CSA fundraiser grew (and continues to grow) from students learning about sustainability and the sixth graders’ visit to the farm that brings locally grown food to the kitchen table.
We, as a school, can and will do so much more as we challenge students to learn about the risks and opportunities that arise as humans interact with the world.
I look forward to sharing more about Pathways and the vision of UMA at the Community Meeting on Monday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. I hope to see y’all there!