AECEO Professional Learning & Connections

AECEO Conversation: Listening to Land as Teacher Sharing Circle

 

Tuesday, Dec 6, 7:00-8:30pm est

Link to Register  

During our Listening to Land as Teacher Sharing Circle, Dr. Hopi Martin Gichitaawa Oshkaabewis (Ojibwe Sacred Helper, Messenger, Fire Keeper, Lodge Caretaker) will be inviting Learning Enrichment Foundation staff to share their Seasonal Pedagogy journey. This session is a dialogical space for critical thinkers to explore ways to connect children and families back to the land in a wide variety of urban and rural contexts.

The session will consist of facilitated small group discussions offering various opportunities for participants to recognize and respond to the work that needs to happen. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the various staff members of LEF in a panel style discussion about ways to grow the Seasonal Pedagogy. Attendees can ask questions directly to people in a role that best fits their needs and context – as a practicing Educator, Supervisor, or Management. In keeping with Indigenous protocols connected to this work, this session will include an Opening/Closing Ceremony, a Sharing Circle, opportunities for questions and answers, as well as opportunities for further reflection and learning.

To prepare for this conversation, you are invited to review the Seasonal Pedagogy. 

You can share your ideas and/or questions about the Seasonal Pedagogy in this Padlet.

We highly encourage you to attend this follow-up conversation of the Listening to Land as Teacher webinar series. This is an extraordinary opportunity to generate ideas, questions and possibilities together about how we can walk together on Mother Earth through the four seasons in early childhood education. We're sure that your ideas will make the facilitated small group conversations, a rich and meaningful experience.

Dr. Hopi Lovell Martin holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education from the University of Toronto. Link to bio.

Nicola Maguire is the Director of Research and Pedagogical Leadership at The Learning Enrichment Foundation. Her areas of interest include children’s outdoor play, Indigenous Perspectives in relation to early childhood education, digital technology uses for co-learning and documentation, and arts-based curriculums.

Katrina Estey is the Director of Operational Leadership at The Learning Enrichment Foundation. Throughout her career path, the focus has been on coaching team members to support learning, with a particular focus on the program planning process.

Carla Vieira is the Supervisor for Silverthorn Early Learning Earth Centre at The Learning Enrichment Foundation. Her focus has been on mentoring educators in outdoor play, risky play, and loose parts.

Dina Makhlouf is an RECE at St. Andrew Child Care Centre with The Learning Enrichment Foundation. She has been a RECE for nearly 15 years and has a passion for applying outdoor learning and land based perspective to the program by following each child’s lead to be able to implement an enriched program.

Iolanda Fanelli is the centre Supervisor at St. Andrew Child Care Centre with The Learning Enrichment Foundation. She has been working in the Early Childhood Field for over 10 years and has a passion for outdoor play and collaborating closely with her team on program planning.

Masooma Akbari is an RECE at St. Andrew Child Care Centre with The Learning Enrichment Foundation. She has 20 years of experience in the child care sector implementing a program for children in the early years. She appreciates the value of a loving, supportive, and nurturing environment. 

Michelle Trigiani is a Senior Manager at the Learning Enrichment foundation. She has had the privilege of working in child care for more than 20 years. Her passion is in education and outdoors play.

Shevaun Burrell is an RECE and preschool educator at the Silverthorn Early Learning Earth Centre with The Learning Enrichment Foundation. She is a graduate of the Early Childhood Leadership degree program at George Brown College. She holds a lifelong love for nature and a passion for learning alongside children. She hopes to continue to grow her knowledge and understanding of Indigenous land-based practices and education.

Yanira Polanco is an RECE, and has worked in the sector for the past 28 years and is a Senior Manager at The Learning Enrichment Foundation. Yanira has a strong background in team building and developing a culture of support and empathy.

Dainna Fletcher is a Senior Manager with The Learning Enrichment Foundation and has been with the organization since 1996, working as both an Educator and Supervisor. Dainna supports, empowers, and remains available to Supervisors and Educators. She is passionate and inspired by the outdoors and what outdoor play experiences have to offer children. Dainna enjoys hearing and seeing the growth in the educators as seasonal pedagogical leaders, and also values connections with children. 

AECEO members will have exclusive access to a recording of the webinar. Become a member today!

Access Information: The AECEO is committed to ensuring that our learning experiences are accessible to all educators; including educators with disabilities, whether visible or invisible. We believe that taking care to create a learning experience where no person's voice, spirit, or knowledges are lost because they are unable to attend, benefits everyone. ASL-English interpretation and live captioning will be available at this session. Please contact [email protected] for access inquiries.


Listening to Land as Teacher Part 4/4 (Passing): Giving Back to a Growing Understanding of Community in ECE

 

During our fourth and final webinar in the Listening to Land as Teacher Series, Dr. Hopi Martin Gichitaawa Oshkaabewis (Ojibwe Sacred Helper, Messenger, Fire Keeper, Lodge Caretaker) invited Learning Enrichment Foundation educators to share their pedagogical documentation of the Seasonal Pedagogy. They also be spoke about how to grow this work of connecting children and families back to the land in a wide variety of urban and rural contexts. This webinar offered participants the opportunity to ask questions of the various LEF staff members about the ways to grow the Seasonal Pedagogy. In keeping with Indigenous protocols connected to this work, this webinar included an Opening/Closing Ceremony and a Sharing Circle.

AECEO membership access a recording of the webinar HERE!


Listening to Land as Teacher Part 3/4 (Relationships): Acknowledging the Importance of Ceremony in Truth and Reconciliation in ECE

 

During our third webinar in the Listening to Land as Teacher Series, Dr. Hopi Martin Gichitaawa Oshkaabewis (Ojibwe Sacred Helper, Messenger, Fire Keeper) lit a Sacred Fire in the Wiigiwaam and was joined by Learning Enrichment Foundation staff, including educators from the Silverthorn Early Learning Earth Centre alongside the St. Andrew Child Care Centre team who have just begun working with the Seasonal Pedagogy in their outdoor program. This next Sharing Circle demonstrated the importance of creating those reciprocal and respectful relationships both inside and outside of the childcare setting. This webinar offered participants the opportunity to ask questions of the various LEF staff members about the challenges of practicing the Seasonal Pedagogy. In keeping with Indigenous protocols connected to this work, this webinar included an Opening/Closing Ceremony and a Sharing Circle.

AECEO membership access a recording of the webinar HERE!


Listening to Land as Teacher Part 2/4 (Movement): Walking Together on Mother Earth Through the Four Seasons in ECE

 

During our second webinar in the Listening to Land as Teacher Series, Dr. Hopi Martin Gichitaawa Oshkaabewis (Ojibwe Sacred Helper, Messenger, Fire Keeper) hosted a Sharing Circle with staff from The Learning Enrichment Foundation from the Wiigiwaam (Ojibwe Bush Home/Grandmother’s Lodge) they built together at the newly created Silverthorn Early Learning Earth Centre. This ‘many-eyed seeing’ approach shared stories from multiple perspectives about ‘walking together’ through the ‘Seasonal Pedagogy’ to create the first urban ‘Bush School’ in Tkaronto (Toronto). This webinar offered participants the opportunity to ask questions of the various LEF staff members about the challenges of ‘walking together’ and meeting at the ‘edge of the bush’. In keeping with Indigenous protocols connected to this work, this webinar included an Opening/Closing Ceremony, a Sharing Circle, as well as opportunities for further reflection and learning.

AECEO membership access a recording of the webinar HERE!


Listening to Land as Teacher Part 1/4 (Birth): Beginning with a Seasonal Pedagogy in ECE

 

In this webinar, Dr. Hopi Martin Gichitaawa Oshkaabewis (Ojibwe Sacred Helper, Messenger, Fire Keeper) introduced the Seasonal Pedagogy that has emerged from his research with Ojibwe Grandmothers, Indigenous and settler ECEs, Earth Workers, and Youth titled Listening to Land as Teacher in Early Childhood Education. Katrina Estey and Nicola Maguire, Directors from The Learning Enrichment Foundation shared the ‘spark’ of an idea that was the Birth of their work with Hopi Martin. This webinar consisted of a Q&A, offering opportunities for participants to openly question and think about the four concepts of Birth, Movement, Relationships, and Passing have to specific times of the year and to deeper considerations of child development and play.

AECEO membership access a recording of the webinar HERE!


Leading with Love and Compassion: An Entryway to Belonging

 

In this follow-up conversation, Natalie Royer, Belonging Specialist at Saroy Group, discussed about love and compassion and how it acts as an entryway to belonging. Natalie highlighted key ideas for educators and leaders in the field on how we can communicate with compassion and how we can create a sense of belonging within ourselves by leading with love to both ourselves and others. This consisted of facilitated small group discussions and Q&A, offering various opportunities for participants to recognize and respond to the work that needs to happen. 

This conversation was not recorded to ensure a safe/brave space for all participants.

 

 


Black History Month is Done! Now What?

 

In this Black History Month follow-up conversation, Natalie Royer, Belonging Specialist at Saroy Group, shared her story as a Black ECE navigating the sector and facilitated a dialogical space for us to "look deep within [ourselves] and ask the hard questions: Why do I choose to do nothing? What am I afraid of? Why do I think it is not my place act?" (Royer, 2021, para 9). This conversation consisted of facilitated small group discussions and Q&A, offering various opportunities for participants to recognize and respond to the work that needs to happen to address anti-black racism in early childhood education.

This conversation was not recorded to ensure a safe/brave space for all participants

 


(Re)Imagining Relationships with Land

 

 

In this conversation, Haley Higdon and Carolynne Crawley facilitated a dialogical space for us to rethink our relationships to the natural world through stories and questions that inspire and continue to drive Natural Curiosity’s work. This conversation consisted of facilitated small group discussions and Q&A, offering various opportunities for participants to openly question and think about how we can reimagine and restore our relationship to land.

AECEO membership access a recording of the conversation HERE!

 

 


Reimagining Our Relationship to Land through Natural Curiosity

 

Natural Curiosity offers a powerful way to engage children in learning about their world. In this webinar, Natural Curiosity Program Director Haley Higdon and Msit No’kmaq founder Carolynne Crawley introduced a transformative approach to early years learning on the land, which first begins with reimagining our own relationship to the natural world. Together, we considered: How might educators model an ongoing, intimate, and deeply informed relationship with the land, in ways that help children to develop a more reciprocal relationship to place, and to each other?

AECEO membership access a recording of the webinar HERE!

 


(Re)Conceptualizing Relationships with Playgrounds

 

In this follow up conversation, director of education Anne Marie Coughlin, centre director Joanie Vallinga, playground designer Tatiana Zakharova @TATIANAatPlay and preschool educator Sherida Johnson facilitated a dialogical space for us to rethink our relationships with and on playgrounds through sharing stories and questions that inspired and continue to drive their work. The conversation consisted of a facilitated break-out room discussion and Q&A that offered the space to share, question and think with ideas and concepts.

AECEO membership access a recording of the conversation HERE!

 


Play/Grounding and Pedagogy: Unravelling Relationships with ECE Playgrounds

 

In this webinar, centre director Joanie Vallinga, the director of education Anne Marie Coughlin and the playground designer Tatiana Zakharova @TATIANAatPlay shared images, sounds, stories, and questions that inspired and continue to drive the work of rethinking our relationships with and on playgrounds. Together, we considered: What do ECE playgrounds do, and how might these outdoor play-focused spaces connect to educational philosophies of today and challenges of tomorrow? How might we deeply and meaningfully intertwine pedagogical work and design of outdoor spaces for children? What might playgrounds look, feel and work like if the considerations behind their design and purpose were not driven by developmental psychology alone?

AECEO membership access a recording of the webinar HERE!

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