Laurie Frank is a former public school teacher who has worked in the adventure and experiential education arenas for 25 years. She began her career as a special education teacher in emotional disabilities, working with students of all ages. Her path diverged upon the discovery of adventure education and experiential methodologies. The need to develop community within the school setting was apparent, and the adventure philosophy seemed the perfect vehicle to achieve that goal.
Laurie is the owner/director of GOAL Consulting, working with school districts, camps and non-profit organizations around the country to create environments where students, faculty, staff, and families are invited into the educational process. She also helps schools develop experiential education curriculum for children and young adults.
Ms. Frank was a leader in designing the nationally recognized Stress/Challenge adventure program for Madison (Wisconsin) Metropolitan School District, and wrote their curriculum, “Adventure in the Classroom,” in 1988 and she wrote Journey Toward the Caring Classroom (2004), an experiential approach to creating community in schools. She also collaborated on two books: one with Chris Cavert, titled Games (& Other Stuff) for Teachers (1999), and the other with Ambrose Panico titled, Adventure Education for the Classroom Community (2000, Revised 2007).
Laurie has been a Certified Trainer with Project Adventure, and is a recipient of the Michael Stratton Practitioner of the Year award from the Association for Experiential Education. She currently serves on the boards of the Association for Experiential Education, Wisconsin Youth Company, Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, and the Hancock Center for Movement Arts and Therapies. In 2008 she became part of a collective of owners with Wood ‘N’ Barnes Publishing dedicated to providing quality books by respected authors on experiential approaches to learning.
01. Leading Together: Foundations of Collaborative Leadership for the Classroom/co-author
02. Journey Toward the Caring Classroom: Using Adventure to Create Community in the Classoom
03. Games (and other stuff) for Teachers: Classroom Activities That Promote Pro-Social Learning/co-author
Utilizing the principles of adventure-based education, the author presents a curriculum of games and activities for a variety of age levels that build trust, cooperation, and problem-solving skills and which teach personal responsibility to groups as well as setting and achieving individualized goals. The development of the text provides a map for building community and tips on group/classroom facilitation, making the program easy to implement.
Leading Together provides a thorough and straightforward foundation for teaching the roles and responsibilities of collaborative leadership in the classroom, grades 8 – 12. Students learn how the strengths of relationships—the power of people working together—can make change, achieve goals, and help them meet the challenges they face. The exercises, readings, and activities encourage students to reflect on their own experiences in order to develop leadership skills and values.
An experiential activity book put together by teachers for teachers. With very little extra planning, educators will be able to implement the individual and group efforts that focus on a wide variety of pro-social skills such as listening, following directions, cooperation, diversity, patience, persistence, and many others. If these skills can be learned in the classroom, there is a chance they may be used outside of the classroom to enhance the interaction of students’ lives and communities.