The Tamagawa Adventure Program (tap) is an outdoor human developmental course, whereby students rely on teamwork to complete tasks. Tap is held on Fridays and is open to Independent Studies classes. On this particular day, students took part in the “High Element” activity.
In Independent Studies class, each student selects a theme, which interests them, and writes an essay about the experiences they had during the school year. This is a peer learning and sharing experience, enabling students from grades 10th-12th to study together.
The students, who pick “tap” for their Independent Study, first select their individual themes. Then after each program activity they reflect on their experiences, and write an essay at the end of the course. At the end of the year, students acquire valuable knowledge from their TAP experience.
In this activity the students experienced sequenced elements, starting from lower height to a higher one. When the students started the “High Element,” they were both excited and nervous.
Upon hearing the teacher’s instruction, “your lives are dependent on your ropes,” they spent time carefully checking their rope work and equipment.
Afterwards, the students were divided into two groups, those who climbed up the element, and the others who supported them on the ground. Anxious group members yelled out words of encouragement, “Come on, let’s get started!” Some students grabbed the safety ropes, while the climbers trusting them, climbed the element. All the students worked together, and successfully completed the challenge. After that, one student holding the rope was moved to tears, because she had experienced for the first time of “having another persons` life in her hands”, where at times her partner`s weight made her almost float above the ground.
The students increased their leadership and communication skills and other technical skills from this activity, and also realized how these effects were influenced in their daily lives.
“tap” originated from a highly successful educational method around the world. It is building on the basis of improving students’ qualities that are required for developing global leaders.