The Outdoor Education curriculum being developed at the Hanifl Centre is best described as dynamic. Lessons come to life as students make direct contact with their subjects and studies. Resources for classroom study include reading materials from relevant books, periodicals, and the internet, maps, audio- visual material, microscopes, computers and the internet. Outside the classroom, experiential learning opportunities seek to use some aspect of the outdoors students experience to create a local context for a topic being learned within the classroom. This helps bridge the gap between the textbook and daily life. It also simultaneously provides meaningful experiences that help to develop values that reflect concern for the future of the Earth. Learning experiences include short walks in the forest around the campus as a class, half-day and full-day field trips and hikes to nearby streams, valleys, and hill tops, visiting local villages and studying local culture and lifestyles, and developing and carrying out research projects. The Centre staff act as resource persons to Woodstock faculty, reaching out across disciplines to engage students all the way from the youngest to the oldest. In addition to gradually building up a resource base of outdoor lesson plans with resource materials, the Centre staff network with experts from outside the school, and carry out their own focused research to develop relevant lesson content and appropriate outdoor curriculum.
Mr. Krishnan Kutty, HOD
Kutty joined Woodstock last year after having worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) a US based Outdoor school for the past 20 years. He has brought a ton of experience in leading groups into the wilderness apart from the administrative background of working as the NOLS India program Director. Kutty is an accomplished mountaineer, having been on numerous expeditions in the Indian Himalaya, and leading mountaineering courses for NOLS in Kenya, Alaska and Chile. In 1994, he co-led the Indian-American expedition to Nanda Devi (East) He has trekked extensively in the Himalaya and in the western ghats of southern India. As life member of the Himalayan Club, and its newly appointed honorary local secretary for Mussoorie, he has close ties with the mountaineering fraternity in India and the United States. Woodstock is extremely fortunate to have someone who can combine both international and regional experience that Kutty brings to this job.
Mr. Darab Nagarwalla, Programme Coordinator
Darab Nagarwalla '80, a former Woodstock student, local resident and a nature enthusiast who has many years' experience working with NGOs in the Mussoorie area on Himalayan environmental issues, with a focus on community forest management.