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Contemplating on Rosegill Pond

Chaplain John Alter leads a closing discussion  with Christchurch School students.

Christchurch School uses Place-Based Extensions of the Academic Curriculum (P.E.A.C.) as a way for teachers to make use of the many natural and social resources in this region to enhance classroom effectiveness and relevance.

Last Thursday, Christchurch Chaplain John Alter took his theology class to nearby Rosegill Pond for a P.E.A.C. lesson. The organizing question for the students was, “How would the significance of this experience differ for a philosopher, a native person, an artist, or a theologian?”

The three-hour class, held at the height of fall foliage, was intended to immerse the theology students in a multi-sensory experience that would cause them to intimately contemplate the wonders and complexities of the incredible natural system that was above, around, and below them.

The entire experience was silent except for a few passages that Mr. Alter read from Thoreau and then a powerful closing discussion while drifting down the pond in a class “raft-up.” Responses to the four perspectives conjured Plato, the Native American experience, laws of nature, and the sheer beauty and peacefulness of our place.

posted 11.07.2012

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