(Re)Imagining Relationships with Land
Wed Feb 16 2022 7:00PM EST
This follow-up conversation builds on the Reimaging Our Relationships To Land webinar. If you missed webinar and would like to participate in the follow-up conversation, we encourage you to become a member so that you can review the webinar recording and participate in the conversation.
In this follow-up conversation, Haley Higdon and Carolynne Crawley will facilitate 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 will consist of a facilitated small group discussion and Q&A, offering various opportunities for participants to openly question and think about how we can reimagine and restore our relationship to land.
You are invited to ignite the fire of your professional inquiry by exploring how reimagining and restoring our relationship with land can transform practice in early learning environments, rooted in reconciliation with the land.
To prepare for this conversation, you are invited to review the Reimaging Our Relationships To Land webinar recording from Jan 26 (will be available shortly), and watch Reconciliation Begins with the Land and to think with the following questions:
• How might you create an ongoing, intimate, and deeply informed relationship with your environment?
• How can we help future generations shift from suffering with the burden of 'stewardship from the environment' to a life of active participation in, coupled with deep love and respect for, Mother Earth?
• What would be different if we lived with a strong sense that water, land, all of the world around us, are relatives? What if we love the world around us deeply, as our family?
You can share your ideas, curiosities and/or questions about how we understand our relationship to the natural world in this Padlet.
We highly encourage you to attend this follow-up conversation. This is an extraordinary opportunity to generate ideas, curiosities, questions and possibilities together about how we understand our relationship to the natural world. We're sure that your ideas will make the facilitated small group conversations, a rich and meaningful experience.
Carolynne Crawley is the founder of Msit No’kmaq which translates to All My Relations in Mi’ kmaw, is dedicated to social and environmental justice and supporting Indigenous led community work connected to Indigenous foodways. She is passionate about reconnecting people with the land, waters, and all beings as there is no separation between us. From Indigenous perspectives across the Earth, they are all our relations to be treated with as much love, respect, and reciprocity as we do with our human loved ones. Carolynne leads workshops that support the development and strengthening of healthy and reciprocal relationships based upon Indigenous knowledges that decolonize existing interactions with the land and with each other. Carolynne is also a certified Forest Therapy Guide, a Blanket Exercise Facilitator, a Holistic Nutritionist, Storyteller, a Co-Producer of the documentary Reckoning with the Wendigo, and a member of the Tkaronto Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle. She also works with Canada’s largest food security organization as the Indigenous Network & Knowledge Sharing senior Specialist. Carolynne has also worked in the Mental Health Sector as a Child & Youth Worker for more than twenty years. Carolynne can be found speaking at events that center around social, food, and environmental justice.
Haley Higdon is the Program Director of Natural Curiosity at the University of Toronto’s Laboratory School, and acted as the Managing Editor for the development and creation of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry. Combining her classroom teaching experience and strong commitment to environmental sustainability, Haley has provided hundreds of professional learning experiences for educators across Canada and beyond, demonstrating an inquiry-based approach to experiential environmental education that can in turn be applied in any learning environment. Haley’s workshops are often created in partnership with Early Years, Outdoor and/or Indigenous Education Leads from some of Canada’s largest school boards and early learning centres, as well as leading professionals in the fields of experiential, environmental and Indigenous education.
AECEO members will have exclusive access to a recording of the conversation. Become a member today!
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. If there are accommodations you need to participate in this webinar, or if you have questions about accommodations, please get in touch with us at [email protected] by Wed Feb 8.
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?
To prepare for this webinar, participants were invited to watch Elder Dave Courchene's video and to think with the following questions:
• What is our relationship to the natural world?
• How would our practice be different if we had a relationship with the land?
• How can land-based inquiry learning support early years educators, students, and families to develop a connection to Indigenous perspectives, in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation?
You can continue to share your ideas, curiosities and/or questions about how we understand our relationship to the natural world in this Padlet.
AECEO membership access to a recording of the webinar will be available shortly.
(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.
To prepare for this conversation, participants were invited to review the Play/Grounding & Pedagogy webinar recording from Nov 30th, read and engage with Elena and Shelly's Stories, and to think about the following questions:
• What is our relationship with playgrounds?
• What do ECE playgrounds do, and how might these outdoor spaces connect to our pedagogy?
• 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 driven by ‘why are we doing it’ rather than the ‘how do we do it’?
You can continue to share your ideas, curiosities, questions and/or possibilities about how we understand and use outdoor spaces in this Padlet.
Play/Grounding and Pedagogy: Unravelling Relationships with ECE Playgrounds
Educators across Canada are far too familiar with playground scripts: position for easy supervision, introduce loose parts, encourage free play, promote motor skills, etc. But how often do we question the theories and assumptions that make these positions sound so absolute? For over a year, educators at a childcare centre in Sarnia have been working alongside pedagogists and a playground designer to shape the pedagogies that disrupt these dogmatic scripts and to reimagine the entre’s preschool playground.
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?
The centre’s educators joined the webinar with stories from their classrooms, as presenters discussed the history of playgrounds and shared the details of the design that’s currently under construction. The webinar was followed by a facilitated break-out room discussion that offered the space to ask questions and share.
To prepare for this conversation, participants were invited to think about the following questions:
• What is your own relationship with playgrounds?
• What do playgrounds do? What if we didn’t call these spaces ‘playgrounds’, but called them ‘a garden’, ‘a studio’, ‘an outdoor classroom’?