Making The Shift is a monthly newsletter to share stories, resources, and ideas around environmental education through inquiry-based learning. Let's collaborate!
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Spring Institute 2013

This year, we held the first Power of Inquiry: A Spring Institute By and For Educators on May 10th and 11th at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. A two-day conference for educators, this gathering of speakers, teachers, administrators, and many others in the field of education, was designed to support and inspire inquiry-based teaching of mathematics and science. With keynote speakers including Dan Meyer (TEDTalk Educator), Dan Rahimi (ROM), Wilfred Buck (Manitoba First Nations Resource Center) and Ellie Avishai (Rotman iThink Team), and practical sessions on integrating environmental education and inquiry-based teaching into curriculum areas across the Kindergarten to Grade 6 years, the event facilitated open and deep discussion around inquiry-based teaching and learning. We explored practices that support students' critical, active, and inter-disciplinary thinking, and shared ideas about engaging students' interest and natural curiosity.

While this spring institute was invite-only due to limited space, we are hoping that this is the beginning of an annual conference that will be open to more educators, one that brings together educators from different schools and boards, and connects teachers' ideas, experiences,
and best practices around inquiry. Want a quick synopsis of our event? One attendee from the York Region School District School Board, Kindergarten teacher Joanne Babalis, blogged about her experience and you can read her session notes and reflections here.

From The Panel
This month, we asked University of Toronto Professor Janette Pelletier, expert on early learning, on the role of inquiry and its implications for our young learners. In a recent issue of the University of Toronto publication, Innovation Ignited (2013), the question was asked, "has there ever been a greater need for educational innovations that give rise to a child's creativity, curiosity and ability to change as society throws them one curve after another?" But what are those innovations? To those of us who carry out research in early learning, the innovation is really quite simple: start with children's ideas.  Indeed this is the essence of inquiry learning – from the earliest days, developing in children a stance toward learning that is sparked by curiosity and theories. (Read more.)
Eco Parent Village

Summer PD Opportunity

Learning for a Sustainable Future and Natural Curiosity are partnering to facilitate a 3-day PD experience focusing on inquiry based learning in the context of building communities and acting on learning. The title for the workshop is Using Inquiry Learning to Build Community: A Summer Institute for Educators. The date of the Institute is July 23rd–July 25th from 9:00-4:00. The cost for attending is $150.00 (inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and refreshments). Please register by July 8th at

Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.
John Dewey
Natural Curiosity: Building Children's Understanding of the World Through Environmental Inquiry
Copyright © 2012 Natural Curiosity. All rights reserved.
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