Learning In Depth Meets Imaginative Ecological Education

I recently* published an article in the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education that provides a rationale for in-depth and imaginative study as part of an ecological approach to teaching. In other words, Learning in Depth meets Imaginative Ecological Education!  (I say “recently” because the journal came out in 2017 but it is a 2015 volume!) […]

Engaging High School Students In Place & Community: Walking Curriculum (Part 2)

“People have long harboured a touch of disdain toward walking.” (Rubinstein, 2015, p. 96) Walking With Secondary Students The Walking Curriculum offers learning activities designed to simultaneously develop students’ sense of place and to enrich their understanding of cross-curricular topics and core competencies. It reflects principles and practices of Imaginative Ecological Education bringing engagement of the body, imagination and […]

Engage Your High School Students In Place & Community: Walking Curriculum (Part 1)

Walk more. Anywhere. (Rubinstein, 2015, p. 251) Walking With High School Students  The Walking Curriculum offers learning activities designed to simultaneously develop your students’ sense of place and to enrich their understanding of cross-curricular topics and core competencies. Walking curriculum activities reflect the principles and practices of Imaginative Ecological Education as they connect engagement of the body, imagination and the local […]

Adventure In Our Own Backyard: Fostering Sense of Place in Early Years Education

By Jolene McFadyen-Nein (Kindergarten Teacher) Working in a school that is nestled in the heart of our community has sparked my interest in Place-Based learning. Many of my students live close by, but have very little understanding of the place in which they live. I have pushed to ensure that my students have emotional ties […]

A Walking Curriculum (#10): Evoke Wonder And Develop Sense of Place (K-12)

I’m pleased to announce that the Walking Curriculum is expanding! Coming soon: Resources for secondary school students that look at issues of “walkability”, social justice, and community development. So please stay tuned! This set of walks and resources (Set #10) was suggested by the awesome teachers in Surrey, B.C., Canada, who participated in a “#getoutside” […]

No Better Classroom Than Nature: Re-Imagining Early Childhood Education

By Emma Huvos (ECE Outdoor Educator, Founder, Riverside Nature School) When I taught in a traditional preschool classroom, I was constantly spending time and money I didn’t have to create what I thought were inviting, exciting spaces intended to foster deep and meaningful play. Week after week, I fussed over signs and props and materials […]

Activeness: Engaging The Body Through Stillness

By Andrea Leeburn (MEd in IE/French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher) I decided to introduce some basic yoga poses to my kindergarten students as part of my Imaginative Ecological Education practice. Practicing yoga can support Activeness by enhancing students’ awareness of their bodies and engaging mental imagery (Judson, 2015, p. 50). I taught yoga once a week for 5 weeks, three […]

A Nature Walk With 22 Five-Year-Olds: Lessons Learned The Hard Way

By Andrea Leeburn (MEd in IE/French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher) *Note: This is the second post in a series that looks at  Imaginative Ecological Education practices with my Kindergarten students. As part of an Action Research, I designed a few activities with the intent of increasing Activeness among my students (Judson, 2015).  Click here to read about my students’ experience creating “nature’s perfume”. On this particular […]

Place-Based Education: Resources & Sources of Inspiration

Last year I was pleased to contribute two posts to a Place-Based Education Campaign initiated by Getting Smart. I wrote about Expanding And Enriching Relationships In Place-Based Education and Guidelines For Assessment In Place-Based Learning. The campaign is now finished and the three-part publication series is available for use by educators. I highly recommend you review/use these resources!  Part One: What is […]

Activeness: Engaging The Physical Senses In The Natural World

By Andrea Leeburn (MEd in IE/French Immersion Kindergarten Teacher) Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE) aims to engage body, emotion and imagination in the natural context in which students live and learn (Judson, 2015). IEE proposes three principles to support this aim. The second principle, Activeness, involves tapping into the body’s emotional and sensory tools in learning such […]

Evoke Curiosity And Stimulate Imagination With “Old Stuff”

March 2 is “Old Stuff Day”. Truthfully, I didn’t realize such a “day” existed. That said, the premise is a good one; it is a day worth celebrating. From what I have discovered about this holiday, “Old Stuff Day” (March 2) is meant to give us a chance to acknowledge what is unique and wonderful in the “stuff” […]

“I Love This Place!”

Fostering Authentic Learning Through Imaginative Engagement By Jolene McFadyen-Nein (Kindergarten Teacher) Three years ago I began teaching Kindergarten, after seven years working with older children. Each year my practice has evolved to better engage my young learners. If you have ever looked into the eyes of a four-year-old coming into Kindergarten, you can strongly sense their […]

A Magical Teaching Moment

I love receiving feedback from educators about their imaginative ecological teaching practices!  Recently I heard about one teacher’s success using the Walking Curriculum. Carrie Lundy teaches a multi-age Grade 3/4 class at Governor Semple school in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She recently took her students to Assiniboine Park on a field trip for a program called A River Runs Through It. The […]

Guidelines For Assessment Of Place-Based Learning

I’m really pleased to be a part of the Place-Based Education (PBE) Thought Leadership Campaign at GettingSmart.  My first contribution to the campaign looked at the role of imagination and relationships in PBE; read it here. This post is about assessment in the context of place-based and imaginative learning: Assessment of learning is a complex and sensitive process.  In the context of […]

Imaginative Education Brings Ecological Thinking To Life

By Dr. Jennifer M. Gidley    All education is the development of genius… The three factors of genius are the habit of action, the vivid imagination, and the discipline of judgment. (Alfred North Whitehead, 1916)   When we offer children a lifeless, stale education, we not only destroy their vitality, but we dumb them down. Through […]