Focusing on Outdoor and Environmental Education – Connect Charter School

Focusing on Outdoor and Environmental Education

On Nov 7-10, the Calgary Science School sent a team to the ACEE Environmental Leadership Clinic, funded by Cenovus Energy and Environment Canada’s Eco-Action Community Fund. This Clinic provided our team with an opportunity to network with other Environmental Educators and stakeholders in Alberta.

As a CSS team, we focused on developing a plan to enhance and enrich the third pillar of our Charteroutdoor and environmental education. We’ve noticed that this blog is full of innovative and meaningful work that provides evidence of two of the three pillars of our Charter (technology and inquiry based practice) but we recognize that a greater emphasis must be placed on embedding outdoor and environmental education resources in our learning to further our Charter goals.

Prior to attending this clinic, our plan was to develop a scope and sequence outlining environmental and outdoor education activities and experiences for each grade level. It became quickly evident that a focus on sequence was not the most effective way to achieve our intended outcome of increased school-wide environmental awareness.

Day 1 of the clinic saw us adapt our planning to a staff-focused orientation. The next 2 and a half days were spent creating a comprehensive logic model and evaluation plan. Our strategy is to focus on building teacher capacity to cultivate an appreciation for, understanding of, and generate tools for, broadening student outdoor experiences and environmental conceptual awareness. As a team, we have structured a short-term plan designed to provide a much clearer picture of our school’s current practices, attitudes and behaviours around environmental education. The opportunity to work uninterrupted for a full three and a half days has allowed the time, space and direction to accomplish work that would have taken many months if attempted along with our regular workload.

Our plan includes connecting with other environmental educators in Alberta in order to develop and share resources, as well as providing increased opportunities for teachers to reconnect with the natural world. We know we will have achieved our goal when we have developed a culture of environmental stewardship and an action orientation around sustainable practices for both students and staff that becomes an integral part of how we learn at the Calgary Science School.


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