Environmental Science|| Teachable Moments

Before coming into this class I thought that environmental education was a separate idea taught to children only in science class.  The notion that EE could show up in other classes didn’t occur to me.  I imagined traditional learning.  The idea of interdisciplinary is not something I thought of.

During this class I came to realize  that EE is so much more than just a unit within a science class.  EE can be an over arching theme thought out every class though out the entire school year.  As future educators if we take the time to look we can see environmental education everywhere and within our day to day routines with our class there are many teachable moments.

Teachable moments are another idea that this class has made me consider, especially when talking about EE. As teacher we want to plan everything and stick to our plans, but some of the most important and engaging connections comes from teachable moments that accidentally happen within our classroom.  It’s important to remember that just because a lesson doesn’t go as we planned, it doesn’t mean it’s not still a valuable lesson.

This class taught me to the value of knowing the curriculum and being able to go with the flow, what I mean by this is that environmental education is in everything we do and if we know the content well, we have the ability to teach it to our youth when ever and wherever and in my opinion that’s how you make some of the best connections.

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9.What to Blog..What to Blog

Hello it’s me..

*Cue Adele Music*

As you can see above I clearly don’t know what to write about and I am way to right brained to be able to zoom in on a specific topic so brace yourself for a scattered post potentially containing things that bare no connection to ECS 210.

Exhibit A:

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Seriously how cute.  Love this little guy.

I view teaching as a profession that should be treated with care and professionalism.  It is because of this belief that I struggle with the notion of being ‘good enough’.  As a teacher we play a vital role in the creation of who are students will become and I don’t want to fail my future students and not be the best teacher I can be for them.

Teachers do more than just teach subjects, they teach important life skills.  In lecture we discussed the idea of teachers educating students to be functioning members of society.  This speaks to the traditional model of education, while I do think it is important to teach skills that make children functioning members of society I think it is much more important to teach students to be the best possible version of themselves.

It is my hope as a future educator that  I will be able to help children become the best version of themselves and they can grow and become people who are kind respectful, smart and happy!

That is the end of my rant, I hope that wasn’t too scattered.

 

 

 

The Importance of Nature

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‘Kellert (2005) has said that connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development.’

In this article it talks about a group of aboriginal children who went into nature to rediscover and learn a new appreciation for this culture.  This was done in part with the process of ‘decolonization and re-membering the traditional ways of knowing.’  In traditional first nation history, nature holds tremendous meaning for them as a people.  They think of nature as being a source of healing and life and it is a very important aspect of who they are.  In the reading, they talk about rehabilitating the children to nature to bring them closer to their culture and to give them a better understanding of what their culture originally was.

As a future educator I see a lot of importance in teaching about and in nature.  I believe that there is much to be learnt about nature and that it can be a very important teaching tool.  Nature can be incorporated into every subject in my opinion.  In the province of Saskatchewan agriculture and farming play a large role in many people’s day to day lives, it also presents a great opportunity to talk about nature and how it relates to agriculture.

 

Childhood Memories

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For this week’s blog I chose to draw a picture of my dugout and the surrounding area.  I grew up on a farm with multiple dugouts on our land.  As a child I saw these dugouts as my own personal swimming pools, each one with different features that made them ‘cool’.  The particular dugout I chose to draw was my personal favourite because it had a large rock that was great point for jumping off of into the water.  Some other cool features of this spot was the tree that was particular easy to climb making it a great look out point to watch the pasture and look out for creatures and cows.  I chose this spot because I spent a lot of time here and I learned a lot about nature from this area.  I saw plants, aquatic life, birds and small creatures and learned a lot about the type of environments they need.  In the reading The Problem of Discipline and The discipline of Problem it says something along the lines of that we don’t teach in the way we see the world, because if we did we would have a department of sky and land, ect.  I connected to this because when I would be sitting in the tree beside the dugout that is exactly how I would categorize things.  I would look to the sky and see all birds and bugs in the sky, and than I would look to the water and see all the bug and animal life that lived there.  I would catorgerize by how I saw things.  It’s interesting to consider how our first instinct is to catorgerize what we see and to try and understand it, I wonder what would happen if we took a step back and just took in everything and saw it in its entirety before we tried to understand it?

Meta Reflection: In The Middle of Things

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To begin this assignment I went back and re-read all my previous blog posts. Initially, it was surprising to how blissfully ignorant I was to many things. I entered this class considering myself to be quite educated on a number of topics surrounding environmental education but as the class progressed I learned that I had much to learn and that learning to understand is better than learning to get a good grade.

One theme I noticed I unconsciously carried throughout my blog entries was my personal experiences.   With each entry I was able to draw connections from personal experiences. In posts such as Creative Journal # 2  and a Proper Thank you is in Order  spoke of past experiences I had with nature. As time has progressed I have been able to deepen my thinking and form questions about environmental education and what it really means to me and move away from relating ideas to experiences. While both are beneficial, I think that questioning my previous ideas and beliefs is indicative of growth, which is ultimately the goal in this course.

An idea that caused a big shift in my thinking was the Newberry Reading . The term “settler invaders” really resonated with me because it was a brand new idea to me and it made me question the way I thought of environment and education. How often had I taught that white settlers were the first settlers to settle land? Completely neglecting that first nation peoples were there hundreds of years previously. The idea of teaching using her ‘settler invader’ concept is important to me as a future teacher because I think it is important that students receive information in a truthful unbiased way.

Throughout the first half of the semester I have struggled to understand what it truly means to be Eco literate, as demonstrated in my first few blog posts. I questioned if my behavior was eco literate or if I even understood what it meant to be eco literate. As time progressed I was able to deepen my understanding and learn more about how eco literacy is a lot of different things and can be have different understandings for everyone.

At this half waypoint in the semester I am able to recognize that I am more eco-literate and more aware of the history of environmental education. Readings such Coyote and The Raven which were initially very confusing to read but as we discussed them I found I understood, this was a common theme through out semester. I have found I understand more than I give myself credit for.

If I were to rewrite my early blogs I would change the way I wrote them, I approached this class timidly, afraid to say what I really thought because I was afraid that my thinking wasn’t the right thinking. As the class progressed I learned that firstly my opinion and ideas are not wrong and that there are no wrong ideas when it comes to environmental education and ESCI 302. I am passionate about nature and living in harmony with nature and this class has only amplified my love of all things organic and eco friendly.