Educational Strands

The Environmental School Project weaves five strands of learning and teaching together.

  • Place-Based Education
  • Imaginative Education
  • Ecological Education
  • Inquiry or Project-Based Learning
  • Principles of Inclusion

Place-based Education:

Place-based education emphasizes a reconnection of people to the natural and human worlds in which they live. Learners become part of and participants in their community by exploring and connecting to their culture, neighborhoods, parks, local histories and knowledges. Learners are empowered through a deeper understanding and skills, and participation in civic life and with the natural world. Learning in place is experiential and in context. Learners will work on projects and problem solving in context of their lived experiences. Related readings

Imaginative Education:

Imaginative Education is about engaging students’ imaginations in learning and teachers’ imaginations in teaching to make knowledge in the curriculum vivid and meaningful. This involves frameworks to develop specific cognitive tools and pushes learning towards a deeper understanding of the fears, hopes, and passions of real people. Learners will be engaged emotionally and imaginatively with the cultural and historical meaning of knowledges in order to create new knowledge. Related readings

Ecological & Environmental Education:

Ecological and environmental education focuses on reconnecting natural and human ecosystems so that human beings appreciate nature and understand ecosystems in order to live sustainably. Ecological education includes outdoor education and experiential education. Ecoliteracy helps to define greater understandings of the natural world and the natural systems that make life on earth possible. The learning process includes all environments as a teacher and co-creator of experience and knowledge. People will understand how different environments affect learning. Knowledge and awareness about different environments and the natural world develops the attitudes, skills and expertise for critical thinking, informed decision making, problem solving, and responsible action. Related readings

Inquiry Methods and Project Learning:

Inquiry education is a student-centered method of learning focused on asking deep questions. Students are encouraged to ask questions which are meaningful to them, their community, and other communities. These questions do not necessarily have immediate answers; therefore, a variety of projects are initiated. Teachers are encouraged to guide and facilitate questions, projects, and learning opportunities. Project-based learning is a dynamic approach where students explore deeper into specific topics and real-world problems, issues and challenges. Inquiry method and project-based learning creates students who are active and engaged, and inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge. Learning occurs experientially, in context and hands-on. Related readings

Inclusion:

In order to be inclusive, focus will emphasize learner strengths and talents, and work on challenges. Learners will have their voices heard by including them in curriculum, criteria and governance. People will embrace the notion of community as learners and educators. All will have voice: students, parents, educators, and community collaborators. Inclusion also moves beyond the human element to welcoming the natural world as a co-creator and teacher. The environment participates and is re-connected to learners. This form of inclusion will enable deeper understandings of cognitive tools, experience, and skills for all learners. Related readings