it to the great outdoors
2, 1999, Gazette)
T. A. Loeffler (L) receives the 1999 Association for Experiential
Education Outstanding Experiential Teacher of the Year award
in Rochester, N.Y. in October.
Dr. T. A.
Loeffler of the School of Physical Education received a unique
honour this year. The innovative professor was named Outstanding
Experiential Teacher of the Year by the Association for Experiential
Education, an international organization made up of teachers
at schools and colleges, as well as those specializing in out-of-doors,
therapeutic adventure, and corporate education.
(known universally as T. A.) teaches in the physical education
and recreation degree programs. Shes a big believer in
experiential education. Asked to explain what experiential education
is, she has a string of examples.
course I teach is Outdoor Recreation Management. Not only do
we talk about theories of carrying capacity, we go out and look
at land and see the impact of using it, she explained enthusiastically.
students are learning about tourism, to examine the experience
of being a tourist, we go out to actually be tourists,
visiting historic sites, taking whale-watching tours, and generally
getting a tourists-eye view of the province.
the third year course, Ill take students to the Grand Canyon.
(Yes, that Grand Canyon. In Arizona.) We actually study
outdoor recreation while were doing outdoor recreation.
And if youre
walking by the Phys Ed building and spot a target on the ground,
look up at the roof. Thats very likely T. A. Loeffler and
her students up there, doing some creative problem-solving. I
give them straws and tape and a raw egg and tell them they have
to protect it. The results are tested from gradually increasing
heights, until the shell actually shatters.
not surprising, then, that Dr. Loeffler received such prestigious
recognition for her classroom (or, more accurately, out-of-classroom)
expertise. And while she acknowledges that her award ...
is the award for hands-on education, a large part of her
pleasure and pride comes from knowing her students were responsible
for the nomination.
they had nominated me last year, but not this year, she
said, so when I found out I had won the award it came as
a complete surprise.
the award (a plaque and a financial award) as beneficial for
the entire School of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics.
Of course it was a wonderful professional honour for me,
said Dr. Loeffler, but it also was good for the university
as a whole.
was evident right away. A representative of the schools
co-op office attended the same October conference, and noticed
a heightened interest on the part of potential employers in hiring
MUN work term students.
was formally presented with her award Oct. 28 at the annual conference
of the Association for Experiential Education, held this year
in Rochester, New York.