I hold an adamant belief that travel can be an invaluable, life-altering experience. Families that have the means to travel often see it as a luxury, and take for granted the incredible learning that they and their children gain. I work in an alternative high school – most of my students are from families that do not have anywhere near those kinds of means. Their experiences have been, in large part, a struggle and the larger world is mostly an abstraction – including the potential wonder and hope that it can hold. Monteverde, Costa Rica epitomizes that kind of wonder and hope – blending the culture of indigenous inhabitants with that of the American Quaker settlers that arrived in the 1950’s, and balancing a model of conservation with becoming an international eco-tourism destination. The book, Walking With Wolf, tells this story in a remarkable way.
We are now in the midst of a year-long interdisciplinary class that will include Walking With Wolf, student blogs (which I hope you'll check out on the right), individual research projects, and a 10-day trip to Monteverde this Spring. The students are working hard and must fundraise their entire way there - they need your help. If you are willing to support their efforts,
checks can be made out to “Lister Academy – Costa Rica Class”, and mailed to: Robert J. Lister Academy, Attn: Bryan Mascio, 35 Sherburne Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


We now have a YouTube Channel so that we can better utilize video in our work. The first video I have included is an adaptation of the video that I used to introduce the new class to the students at Lister Academy last Spring. I made a few minor alterations and updates, but for the most part, this is the video that excited the students who chose to commit to a year of hard work and amazing learning. We're reading Walking With Wolf, each student has their own blog, and we're fundraising our way to Monteverde, Costa Rica. This is exciting!

If you would like to help support these students, please check out our website to see how. Thanks.

Power and Control

I am trying to utilize more technology so that the students have a variety of options for capturing their ideas. Up until this point, I have been suggesting that they take notes while reading the book, Walking with Wolf - similar to how I was taught and how I teach at the college - but I would like to hand them more options. I have created a Google Voice account so that they can possibly leave digital voice recordings of their thoughts as they read. I have tried it out here as a model. I'd love to know what people think.

Too often, teachers resist adoption of technology - and I'm guilty sometimes. I am hoping that use of multiple technologies can empower my students and shift more power and control to them - where it belongs. This feels more in line with our class, as we prepare for our learning about Monteverde, Costa Rica.

If you would like to help support these students, please check out our website to see how. Thanks.