Our journey to the Arctic brings together an extraordinary team of Canadian and international high school and college/university students, educators, scientists, historians, artists, explorers, authors, leaders, innovators and polar experts. Together, we will create a transformative educational journey that fosters a new understanding and respect for the Arctic as a homeland, wilderness, frontier, laboratory, and one of the Greatest Classrooms on Earth!
DISCOVER | UNDERSTAND | CONNECT | INSPIRE | CHANGE
Our approach to education weaves together elements of experiential, expeditionary, inquiry-based, and place-based learning. Starting with a very ‘hands-on’ approach, active participation and critical thinking are important elements in the SOI learning process. Our expeditions become personal learning journeys and include general knowledge building, the development of a relational understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges facing the polar regions of today and in the future, as well as personal reflection on how each student might transfer this unique learning experience into his/her daily life post-expedition.
We recognize that the journey will be unique for each participant and and embrace that expeditions have many different learning edges. For some they will be about new food, 24-hour days or being away from home. For others the edges will be cultural, interacting with people from other parts of the world, people with different passions. And for others key learning takes place upon entering the natural world on its terms and having up close and personal encounters with the polar plants, animals and processes of climate change. Still others will be moved by the personal journeys and stories of fellow travellers.
Subtle or profound, these are all valid outcomes of SOI’s expeditions. By challenging and supporting students to step out of the “comfortable middle” to the edges of what they know, the SOI learning experience creates the richest opportunities for learning, big or small.
Educational Program Goal
The collective aim of SOI’s education team is to make the learning that takes place on the expedition accessible, palpable, and critically relevant to participants. We want participating youth to be able to take this ‘personal knowledge’ gained on expedition – lessons learned in a context that is rich with the tastes, smells, feelings, images, sensations and emotions of first hand experience—and to transfer and apply it to their everyday lives in their respective home communities, despite the geographical, sociocultural, and socioeconomic diversity representative in our students. It is our hope that each student’s SOI expedition experience will serve as a transformative catalyst to drive what they do, how they act and which decisions they make about future engagement as global citizens.
In participating in a SOI Expedition, students connect to the natural world, develop new understanding and respect for the planet, explore solutions to our most pressing challenges, and inspire each other to take positive action.