CJ #6: Inquiry-Based Interdisciplinary Learning

Prompt: What does inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning offer to environmental education intentions? How have you engaged in meaningful inquiry cycles?

inquiryThe first thing that I think inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning offers to environmental education intentions is our bold statement of “All education is environmental education.” Having inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning can help to incorporate the environment into all subject areas. Inquiry-based learning, interdisciplinary learning can help get students thinking about how environmental education can be incorporated into different subjects. For example if you were learning about weather in a science class you could take your students outside to observe the weather. That would then incorporate the science curriculum and environmental education.

I have engaged in meaningful inquiry cycles different time, sometimes without even knowing. Our Embodying Eco-literacy Projects were the place that I most recently used inquiry cycles in a meaningful way. Using the inquiry cycle I was able to ask myself the important questions and the questions of how I wanted to embody climate change and move through the cycle as to how I could change my questions or how I could change my own actions to embody climate change. In a lot of ways we use inquiry cycles more than we think and often we use it on a daily basis. In a lot of ways anytime I write a blog post, reflection piece, or work on a group project I use an inquiry cycle. Most of the times I end up using the inquiry cycle when I create a blog or a reflection post. I always start out by asking questions and then going through the cycle. No matter what situation whether it is in a school project or just day to day life you go through some sort of inquiry cycle. We know that there is many different ways of inquiry cycles and many ways we can go through then and some people may even go through them more than one.



CJ #5: Outdoor Education as a Way of Thanks


This week with looking at the Canoe Pedagogy for this week’s blog prompt a has made me think back to my own experience with outdoor education. I have mentioned before that I took an outdoor education class in high school. In this class we took a bike trip to Kananaskis and a canoeing trip to Northern Saskatchewan. We were able to experience the mountains and riding our biked down the paths through the trees as well as the lakes in Northern Saskatchewan that were so clear we were able to drink straight from the lake.

“Because wilderness and nature are called into being by the meanings given
them, are constituted by their own representations, they are human creations
and thus subject to the whims and politics of human activity” (NewBerry, 2012).

This quote made me reflect on how these place should that I visited where we are lucky that we have these places because they are taken care of but because of human activity they could be taken away from us.

Being in these places made me think about how I am thankful I am to have had these opportunities. These are places that haven’t been destroyed and are meant for people to enjoy and be with nature. People may not realize what is in Northern Saskatchewan so many may not go there which may be why it has stayed safe. I think that in Northern Saskatchewan we were able to see stone paintings which made us think of the historical roots and how long people had been living there. We may not think that people have lived and been there before us and we may try to take it as our own. Being able to go to Northern Saskatchewan made me think of all the First Nation people that would have been there for many years and lived off the land and truly gave back to it instead of just taking away from the land.

“It was when the earth starts to wake up from her well-deserved rest and renews her gifts to the people” (Kimmerer, 168).

Again looking at this quote as a way of giving thanks, we need to realize the Earth has so much to give that we need to give back instead of just taking away.

Looking at disrupting the common sense idea of Canadian Wilderness, we always think of as being outside in the mountains. We instead need to start thinking about Wilderness being everything.


CJ #4: All About Water

This week my thoughts were all around water. Going to the water treatment plant really opened my eyes in terms of how much work goes into making the water clean for us to drink. We often take having clean water for granted but we know that some people don’t have clean water and can get sick from the water they are drinking.  Going to the water treatment plant made me realize that we should be cautious of the water at our disposal and how to take care of it. We often don’t think about what were doing can impact our water and we can actually be destroying it by our actions. This again goes back to taking the leap to be better with what we are doing to our environment.

I think that I can connect to the Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History reading with my visual and blog post. With this reading being about Outdoor Environmental Education I can relate back to my own experience with Outdoor Ed. In high school I was in an Outdoor Ed class and we went on a canoe trip in Northern Saskatchewan. One thing that really stood out to me was how clean the water was. It was so clean that you were able to drink right from the lake. By not having many people around there wasn’t as much opportunity to pollute the lake.  On page 34 of the reading Newberry wrote, “Wilderness and nature are often represented in dominant discourse as spaces of leisure, as places to unwind or, alternatively wind up for expedition.” What I like about the statement is that taking this class, I was able to unwind and relax on this class and just enjoy my surroundings. On page 35 of the reading Newberry wrote, “Because wilderness and nature are called into being by the meanings given them, are constituted by their own representations, they are human creations and thus subject to the whims and politics of human activity.” I think that this is a perfect way to express my thoughts this week. Many lakes have been created and destroyed by us polluting and destroying them and they are no longer safe to just drink out of.

CJ #3: What does embodiment mean to me?

0CDD308B-192B-41AC-A0AD-4056E024D0BATo me, in the context of climate change and ecoliteracy embodiment means to physically attempt to make a difference. Much like our embodying ecoliteracy projects embodiment is what we are doing with our bodies. My visual represents what embodiment means to me in terms of climate change. In my visual I took a picture of myself holding a world on fire. To me if we don’t take control and really embody saving our planet we won’t have one. By “holding” the world in our hands we can help to make the world a better place. Embodiment to me also means physically taking a stand and advocating for what you think is right. Much like in The Lorax how the Lorax basically become an advocate for the trees that are being cut down and affecting the “ecosystems” where everyone is living.

I think embodiment in context of climate change also has a lot to do with what we have been doing in ESCI 302 which is going and being outside and practicing stillness. In Robin Wall Kimmerer, on page 224-225 it is said, “The woods are full of their bright voices. When the last pair of saplings is tied, quiet falls as they see what they have made. It looks like an upside-down bird’s nest, a basket of thick saplings domed like a turtles back. You want to be inside.” By going outside and realizing what is around you, you might be more inclined to make a change and improve your day to day life and be able to help save the environment. Much like in Robin Kimmerer’s first reading we read we found out how important it is to not just read about these topics but to also experience them. Being outside and experiencing the outdoors can make us realize what we have and how we should protect it.


ESCI Braid

How can we explain a person as eco-literate? What an interesting question. I don’t think there is one correct way that we can define Eco-literacy or an Eco-literate person and it showed in our small groups while sharing our poems or love letters. In our small group we were able to see how each person took different ways to do the actual writing whether they did it as a poem or whether it was a letter. We were also able to see how each of us had a different perspectives in regards to the themes of our writings. Throughout the group readings there were a lot of similar and different themes and thoughts.

“Will you hold the end of the bundle while I braid? Hands joined by grass, can we bend our heads together and make a braid to honor the earth? And then I’ll hold it for you, while you braid, too” (Kimmerer, 2013).

In my own way to describe an eco-literate person I wrote a love letter to my dog Tucker. I wrote themes of protection and respect in my letter which is one main theme that stood out to me in some of my classmates readings. One of my classmates that was similar to my own was Rashelle. Rashelle also wrote a letter to her dog. The ways that we explained our dogs being eco-literate was their love for the outside world. Rashelle said in her letter, “If more people could see the environment through possibly the purest lens, your eyes, it would look entirely different, and we wouldn’t have to worry about losing our home.” I made a similar statement when I said “You inspire me every day to continue to protect the environment, so you forever have a place to explore.”  The way that a dog is eco-literate would be different than a human. The innocence of a dog not knowing the world could come crumbling down around them is proof the world should be protected. Thinking about how a dog is pure to the world made me think that their is hope for our planet. It made me think that if people could love and respect the environment like a dog does we can help to make the planet to be in better shape and to help put an end to climate change.

Regan’s stood out to me in a way that was different from anyone else in the class. She wrote hers to an Indigenous person. While the theme or respect was similar the way of respect was different. Regan made her post of how she thought Indigenous people are eco-literate and it’s not something I thought of in my post but it is true. She said “Respecting, all that earth has to offer, Utilizing every natural element for every aspect of life.” What stood out to me was that we now to do not use everything we take. We often use way more than is given to us and it is taking away from our environment. It made me sad how people have lived on this planet for so many years and then we are ruining it. It also gives me hope for when students like us understand this and take that leap to make a difference.

From my own letter and reading and hearing other students poems and letter it has made me think that bold claim that “All education is Environmental Education.” It made me think of Robin Kimmerer’s story of how she took her own students out to experience the environment in a hands on way. I think that having more hands on environmental education can help people to understand that they need to take that leap to better our planet.

“This braid is woven from three strands: indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and the story of an Anishinabekwe scientist trying to bring them together in service to what matters most” (Kimmerer, 2013).

Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions

Luypaert, R. (2018). Eco-literate poem – No judgement zone. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://reganluypaert.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/eco-literate-poem-no-judgement-zone/

Parcher, R (2018). CJ #3: Dear Max. Retrieved February 12, 2018, from https://rashelleparcher.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/cj-3-dear-max/

Roney, R. (2018). Ecoliterate love letter: Dear Tucker.. Retrieved February 12, 2018, from https://missroneysblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/ecoliterate-love-letter-dear-tucker/







Ecoliterate love letter: Dear Tucker..

Dear Tucker,

You are the most ecoliterate person I know. Your love for nature inspires me constantly. You question why you cannot be outside constantly even on the most bitter day in the dead of winter. Your cries and tears of sadness on those long cold days breaks my heart and I know the you are happy with those few minutes outside. The outdoors is your happy place no matter the temperature. Even when you get stuck in the middle of the snow and need to be carried into the house you could not be happier. Your ears are always wide open to the sounds of the birds chirping and the squirrel nattering. You are a constant protector of those birds and squirrels and are filled with curiosity with them. You bask in the rays and the heat in the warmest of days. You protect and honor the trees and the fruits that they give. You never take more than they give and only once it had fallen to the ground as if to not let it go to waste. You never let one scent be missed with your nose always straight up in the air. You investigate every last raindrop, snowflake, and breeze. The stillness you have while laying in the grass deepens your connections. Your happiness is when the breeze blows through your fur and the blades of grass through your paws. You make the world a better place for always wanting to walk instead of drive. You never take no for an answer and are never satisfied with the answers you are given. You don’t like to bathe or swim, but you have no problem wading through the puddles outside. You explore every last corner leaving no stone unturned. You inspire me every day to continue to protect the environment, so you forever have a place to explore.

CJ #2: Taking that Leap..

visual 2

“What can I do?”

“How can I help?”

“I’m only one person, how can I make a difference?”

These are often questions we ask ourselves when we think of taking the leap to help save the environment. Of course, there are stereotypical was that we ‘vow’ to help the environment.

“I’m going to recycle.”

“Ill use the stairs instead of the elevator.”

“I’ll walk or ride my bike instead of driving.

We have been challenged to think bigger in terms of taking the leap to save the environment and I have thought long and hard about this and to be honest its hard coming up with ways to help ‘save the environment’. While I would like to start with some of the stereotypes such as recycling more, I would like to make sure that I use less electricity and make a more conscious effort that If I’m on my phone or computer to turn off the TV and only use the lights in the room that I am using, as well as cutting back on some things such as eating so much meat (specifically beef).

In terms of deeper understanding and a less stereotypical way of ‘saving the planet’ my leap into action would be to become more educated on the things that I use daily that are actually harmful, I want to become more involved in finding ways to save the environment and not just sit back and expect someone else to fix it for me, I want to become more educated on the issues that are effecting our environment.

During Apathy into Action one thing that really stood out to me was the mention of a bear that was hit by a truck by workers on the pipeline and left to die. It made me really think that it was the animals home first and we more or less took over it and expect the animals to find a new home. I think in looking at my own leap into action I would also want to try to make sure that I do not contribute to deforestation as we have already torn down many trees to build cities and communities without having regard to what we were taken away.

In the chapter “Maple Nation: A Citizenship Guide” on page 168 one quote that stood out to me was, “It is when the earth starts to wake up from her well-deserved rest and renews her gifts to the people”. The earth and environment is an incredible place and we need to start treating it as such. We are taking and using more resources that there are available and if we continue it the earth will no longer have gifts to give back to us. My visual includes many wonders of the world that we are slowly killing and if people don’t leap into action we won’t have these wonders for much longer.