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Jeff Moore: teaching through experience in the great outdoors

Year: 2019 – Province: Saskatchewan

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Jeff Moore

Wildfire Management, Native Studies, Physical Education, Environmental Sciences, grades 10 and 11
Greenall High School, Balgonie, Saskatchewan

"Mr. Moore is an inspiring environmentalist who saw a need for an alternative way of learning in our schools. … Students have the utmost response for [him], the class bonds as a family and everyone comes away from the program with memories they'll never forget."  — Parent

Jeff Moore had a dream to create a unique program in which he could share his environmental passion, and students could learn outdoors through experience-based learning. Convincing educational leaders of his vision, he has been leading his school's Outdoor School program for more than a decade.

Teaching approach

Jeff's passion for hands-on learning is a testament to his belief that knowledge should be taught through experience. He regularly asks, "How can we make this lesson more hands-on?" "How can we get students doing more than listening?"

In the classroom

  • Integrates multiple areas of learning into outdoor school program: students journal, read books and explore poetry in nature, do real case studies on the trail, go rock climbing, ice fishing and hiking, and learn Canadian history by visiting local sites; students earn five Grade 11 credits.
  • Allows students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways: one musically talented student wrote and performed a song about one of Saskatchewan's ecological regions.
  • Supports skills development for students who struggle in regular high school classes: they learn to tan hides, make walking sticks, build traps, use a knife, start a fire, and dehydrate and cook food.
  • Promotes significant development of students' sense of responsibility—personal, social and environmental—through major camping, canoeing and hiking trips; during a survival simulation, students must cope with running out of water on a long hike or having to portage in the cold.

Outstanding achievements

  • Achieved numerous qualifications to make aspects of his program possible for little cost: for example, he has a bus driver's licence, first aid certificate and canoe tripping certificate.
  • The Outdoor School Program is so popular that students must submit a written application for acceptance.
  • Has built partnerships with numerous community organizations and facilities to support the outdoor school, including for fundraising and skills development, and brings in numerous guest experts to work with students.
  • Students won $2,000 by participating in provincial campaigns related to caring for Saskatchewan's watersheds and sharing anti-bullying messages.

Get in touch!
Greenall High School
Box 70
Balgonie SK S0G 0E0

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