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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Hear From Teachers

Stephen Skoutajan,
2012 Edward Burtynsky Award Winner

Environmental Inquiry:
An Innately Natural Way to Instill Curiosity

Grade 4 Students Use the Local Neighbourhood
Business Strip as a Valued Resource

Nurturing life-long learning is no doubt the wide-ranging goal of 21st Century educators. We want future generations to learn to critically think and we need to ensure they are prepared to resolve the unknown challenges of tomorrow. The risk takers amongst us throw caution to the wind as we lead young people into authentic learning situations without a clear and focused agenda while trusting our intuition. We hope that the resulting landscape of inquiry allows our students to connect the dots and bring order to the chaos. This is always an intimidating prospect but one that historians, biologists and archeologists have learned is archived in the Earth’s bedrock. Darwin, as he sailed the world aboard the Beagle, knew that a natural learning progression could be best experienced when he was immersed in situations embedded in the real world. (Read more...)

Teaching Awards!

The Edward Burtynsky Award for Teaching Excellence in Environmental Education recognizes certified elementary teachers in Ontario who practice environmental inquiry in their classrooms. Winner will receive $1000 towards professional development in environmental education, and an original signed Burtynsky print!

Our Dr. David Suzuki Fellowships honour teacher candidates graduating in 2013 who are committed to inquiry-based learning and the importance of environmental education. Two winners will be awarded $500 towards professional development and a week-long fellowship at the laboratory school.

Visit our website for details and application forms! Deadline for applications is February 22, 2013.
Colour Water

Related Resource

Connecting through Twitter and Facebook has given us the opportunity to share in teacher stories from schools across Canada and beyond. This issue, we want to highlight Joanne Babalis' blog about her journey towards inquiry-based learning in her kindergarten classroom. Explore the "We Can See" project, investigations of colour, and inquiry explorations of snow! On Fridays, the blog features resources for ideas, books to read, and conferences of interest!

How Can Teachers Foster Stewardship?

Teachers can foster stewardship behaviour in their students by incorporating the branches of Environmental Inquiry into their practice. The experience of teachers engaged in Environmental Inquiry suggests that the development of stewardship behaviour in students is more likely to emerge when one or more of the following three learning conditions are present:
  1. Students have agency over their learning process.
  2. Students spend time in natural settings.
  3. Students’ stewardship actions are linked to their classroom learning.

Natural Curiosity is available as a free PDF download on our website! Click here for more on fostering stewardship.
Natural Curiosity: Building Children's Understanding of the World Through Environmental Inquiry
Copyright © 2012 Natural Curiosity. All rights reserved.
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