#15 of “23 Stories of Change” for our City Skyline Challenge!
Dr. Reno Taini has been an influential figure in the experiential education movement worldwide. He was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 1982 by the state of California, and has been featured in numerous publications for his”extraordinary efforts in the field of personal and team development”. He has been called upon by the U.S. State Department and United Nations to provide interventions internationally, and is an Outward Bound Trustee.
Reno’s first experience with Outward Bound came second-hand in the 1960’s when he sent high school students from his Community Environmental Education Program in Daly City to the Northwest Outward Bound school for summer expeditionary courses. When these students returned, Reno was so impressed with the great interventions Outward Bound was using that he incorporated these students’ experiences into his own program. Ever since, he has been working with Outward Bound instructors and curriculum in public high schools, even taking some time in the 1970’s to work for the Colorado Outward Bound school as an instructor himself.
From an educator’s’ perspective, Reno appreciates that the Outward Bound model, “gives teachers who want to make a contribution a way to generate excitement and innovation within public education.” He believes at a fundamental level that, “students need responsibility and an inclusive, peer-oriented space to become comfortable in who they are at the time and to become confident that they will continue to develop.”
From a historical perspective, Reno concludes that, “Outward Bound is more relevant now than ever.” “These days schools are filled with students who are technologically competent but need to learn how to be brave, compassionate, and adventurous.” Yet Reno is concerned that not enough students are being reached. “Experiential education programs in the USA are largely distributed and piecemealed out as opposed to institutionalized.” For that reason, Reno strongly supports the large institutional reach of Outward Bound, and is encouraged by Outward Bound’s moving into urban spaces and building deeper connections through their urban centers, such as our very own center in San Francisco.
On a personal level, Reno says his experiences with Outward Bound “opened my eyes to how I could really help kids – like a student who after a rappel sees what he is truly capable of.” In Reno’s opinion, “There are big problems in the schools, and for teachers and students, Outward Bound is food for the soul.”
You can make an expedition possible for a students to have experiences like Reno’s by participating in or donating to the City Skyline Challenge!