Recent shifts in education have been primarily focused on diversifying the learning experiences of students and expanding beyond traditional classrooms. At Carihi, one of the many examples of this is the Carihi Forestry program.
Carihi Forestry is a half-day program that runs for one semester each year. Students can gain their Science 11 credit required for graduation (Sustainable Resources 11), as well as an elective credit (Forestry). The course is available to grade 10, 11 and 12 students.
The program provides a range of diverse learning opportunities for students. Classroom time is balanced with time spent outside in the industry. There is a focus on project-based and inquiry-based learning. Combined, these learning principles make the program a dynamic, hands-on experience.
Forestry teacher Jason Kerluck believes that the program is useful for two types of students.
These are “students that are interested in forestry, as well as students looking for something different than the traditional classroom.”
The program covers Sustainable Resources 11, a science course not otherwise offered at Carihi. Information regarding forestry is also embedded within the science aspect of the program. Inquiry-based, hands-on learning remain themes in this section of the program
The elective Forestry completes the other half of the program. Kerluck created the elective at the district level, and therefore the curriculum is locally adapted.
Part of the curriculum includes learning to identify local trees and plants. The goal of Forestry is to give students “information and experiences regarding the forest industry,” as well as “to teach the students employable skills.”
Students gain experiences in the forest industry through field trips, guest speakers, classroom projects, and potentially summer jobs in forestry.
These experiences lead students to make connections in the industry and potentially attain employment. In addition, students learn essential employment skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking.