By: Abi Flynn Chamberlain
February 19, 2021
As we have tackled virtual learning here at ICADS since the pandemic started last year, the biggest challenge has been to encourage and emphasize hands-on learning. A phrase we often repeat as a mantra or reminder to students and colleagues alike is: “in doing, we learn.” We believe that hands-on learning is a key element in education, as action encourages deeper understanding. Educators and students everywhere have felt this loss of hands-on learning, and ICADS, along with the rest has endeavored to bring education to life, even through a computer screen.
While ICADS created a virtual curriculum this past year, we found that the institute’s Field Program Professor David Norman brought the same excitement as he does with in-person students to our videos. Though you can’t feel the texture of the soil, the warmth of the air, or hear the sounds of San Jose when taking it all in virtually, David transmits a passion for teaching and learning that we think translates to students everywhere, no matter where they might be virtually logging on to learn.
ICADS is thrilled and hopeful as we plan to welcome students back to our campus this summer for the first time in over a year. We look forward to getting back to our roots, both literally and metaphorically, by empowering students to learn through doing. But until then, we invite you to virtually learn with us and David Norman about the soil quality and conditions of San Jose, Costa Rica!
As we approach one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we reflect on a year of change and adaptation, and we look forward to a new chapter in 2021!
Included in our course material this semester at ICADS is a video exploring the economic challenges and pressures COVID-19 has imposed on many people in Costa Rica.
Katherine Peters is an intercultural educator, Spanish professor, and former Assistant Director of ICADS in Costa Rica. Check out and follow her new blog "New Backwater" and her reflections on her time in Costa Rica.