Ecological Literacy, Earth Awareness and Regenerative Design for Schools:
Major environmental and societal change expected in the coming decades creates the need for new pedagogical design and for sustainable instructional methodology. These seminars provide foundations for the ongoing development of an ecologically based pedagogy that satisfies the need for environmental and ecological awareness in schools. We offer a preliminary talk of one hour that can be followed up with a longer workshop format for schools that are willing to commit to this. Our unique and engaging workshops culminate in direct collaborative work with teachers and curriculum development with concrete applications in the classroom and beyond.
Seminars and workshops for schools in whole systems sustainable development can be designed for half day, full day, or multiple day experiences. Workshops focus on three areas:
Foundations – Out-of-doors excursion into Earth’s deep time and nature connectedness
We begin with an experiential introduction to deeper ecological awareness through direct involvement with the more-than-human natural world. We take you on a Deep Time Walk in the vicinity, a storied excursion into Earth’s 4.6 billion year-old life history which helps participants immerse themselves into an appreciation for, and understanding of, our interdependence with all of life. In longer seminars this can be a 4.6 km hike, which serves as a metaphor for the 4.6 billion years of Earth’s existence. For sessions at school premises or where there is not time for a long walk, we can substitute a shorter walk and/or sensory involvement activities designed to help us to develop awareness and appreciation. Teachers can later incorporate these insights, ideas, and methods into their own teaching.
Concepts – An interactive presentation
We follow up the opening excursion with a presentation of the conceptual framework for whole systems sustainability and development. We work together to redefine and enliven our understanding of sustainability and think outside existing paradigms to re-conceive what we choose to develop. We explore how we as educators can 1) change perceptions of our relationship with the living world, and 2) bring regenerative development alive in practical ways, both for our students and our communities. This allows educators to move beyond the doing of isolated activities and toward thought and action grounded in ecological literacy principles.
Practical applications: interactive activities and cross-curricular links
Here we investigate the practical applications of whole systems sustainability through the curriculum and the classroom. We engage teachers in hands-on activities and offer suggestions for various subjects, as well as examples of cross-subject inquiries and ongoing projects. We explore the use of regenerative principles in order to incorporate sustainability in the classroom and school environment. We present several nature-based and interactive activities that can be used in primary or secondary school Science, Ecology, Language, Arts, Dance, Physical Education classes, and more. We present opportunities for cross-curricular and multidisciplinary approaches, and practical methods for developing the new Norwegian national curriculum’s three strands of wellness, democratic participation and sustainability.
Follow-up and Ongoing Consulting Resources
In every case seminars are designed to meet the needs of individual schools, and opportunities for follow-up, whether in person or online, are provided. We offer each workshop cohort the opportunity to continue to receive ongoing feedback and consulting as they apply sustainable development principles in their school. This can take the form of goals setting and follow-up, online interactive collaboration, and specific project development.