Inquiry-based learning is key I find when it comes to environmental education. Today our ESCI class had the honor of having Dean Elliot, Ministry of Education come to our class and talk about inquiry-based learning. He is an amazing speaker and helps you to understand what inquiry-based learning actually is. At the beginning of the class we wrote our background knowledge on the board as to what we think it is. Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what they want to learn or know. It is about triggering curiosity so they want to learn what is being taught and are excited to find out more. Dean had us go onto the curriculum and find an outcome and write a question that will get the students excited about the topic. In the class we were in groups and made up questions then asked the rest of the class what they thought about our questions and if they thought the kids would be engaged. The process of writing a question that may be engaging to children was harder than I thought it was going to be. However, it was nice to try it out in the class and was very fun. It may also be a good idea I learned that you have the students come up with their own questions that they want to answer and are excited to find that answer. As well when having you students do assignments or projects have them write a reflection as to what worked and what didn’t during their creative process. This way the students can reflect on HOW they learned it and not just WHAT they learned. By doing this they have the opportunity to reflect as to the process of what they did.
This is a picture of my son and my fiancé when we went camping over the summer. When camping with my family I feel a deep connection with nature. I want to be able to go out for walks with my family sit by the lake and listen to the birds sing or the water move. This was the first time I took my son out camping and wanted it to be amazing, though he probably will not remember the experience I want him to find a sense of connection with nature I believe you are never too young.
When in school whenever I went on camping trips I never felt relaxed and enjoyed nature. As a class, we would mostly play games, or constantly inside buildings and sitting as a class. Even though most of the trips were supposed to have the theme of connecting with nature I was unable to connect with it. I remember the one time I went camping with my class and we went to Round Lake. We were there to explore First Nations traditions and ceremonies. My class went when we were in grade five, it was the first time and only time as a class I felt a connection with nature. We sat around the campfire and sang songs, then during the day we would go out and look for different types of animals and identify them. We also learned the history of the land which Newberry talks about in our reading “create opportunities for students to learn from and about Aboriginal cultures while being mindful of idealizing and historicizing them”. I found the experience I had with my grade five class to be the first time I connected and learned about the history of the land I was staying on. As well there was a different perspective of the land and the history of it then what I am used to. I am used to hearing the western society versions and it was nice to hear another side.
Personally to me embodiment means not just saying I’m going to do better for the environment but actually proving and showing through actions. When going to on a field trip to the wastewater treatment plant it really got my mind going. I realized how much work it is to keep the water clean and treated and its crazy that I am just learning about it this year! People do not realize how a simple thing like taking a shower or letting the water run while doing dishes can affect our environment. We also need to learn to appreciate the time and effort people put into when cleaning the water. Therefore, I decided to watch how much water I am using and not let my shower run for twenty minutes while I let it warm up. As well I am glad I decided to go with the plastic group in my class and watch our use of plastic water bottles and bags. Through this project I have realized how much plastic I use and the times I screw up and buy plastic I feel guilty about it. However, when I’m on the right track I feel amazing I feel like I am helping the environment even though I’m one person I’m still telling my friends and family about the project and my struggles. After the project is over I want to keep trying to eliminate plastic from my life and tell people about how much plastic affects the environment. Maybe I will end up having another group of people helping me eliminate plastic and those people may share with their friends and family. As well I have been noticing when I see garbage thrown on the ground at the University or anywhere I see for that matter I clean it up and toss it. I used to toss my garbage onto the ground and not care and think someone else will clean it up. I realized how horrible that is and how I am contributing to climate change and making the environment not as beautiful as it once was.
For this blog post, I decided to write about my experience at the wastewater treatment plant in Regina. As a class, we went on a field trip to see where our clean water comes from and the process that comes with it. To be honest I had no clue idea what the process for our clean water involved and I didn’t really look into it or wanted to. I never thought about our water I just knew that it is clean. As well we do not really think about where our water is going after we use it. After we run our showers, clean our dishes we tend not to care where our water goes. We do not know how much water we use and waste as well as how much energy we use to make our water clean again. I feel we take our water for granted and being able to have the experience to see the process of the water bring cleaned was eye-opening.
After going to the water treatment plant I found out that the water needs to go through a lot filtration processes in order for it to be safe again. The wastewater treatment plant in Regina was recently upgraded to accommodate population growth as well as making keeping the water as clean as possible to ensure safety. ” Converted to a biological nutrient removal process, the new facility consists of primary clarification, bioreactors, secondary clarifiers, a fermenter, and an upgraded UV treatment process to treat its liquid stream while enhancing the solids stream treatment. The upgrades rectify current deficiencies by replacing/refurbishing infrastructure, some of which is now well beyond its normal service life. The upgraded plant will remove ammonia on a year-round basis and both nitrogen and phosphorus prior to discharging treated effluent to Wascana Creek.” (Stantec) This is one of the city’s largest and most complex capital projects to date. It’s pretty surprising to know how much our water needs to go through so its clean and safe again, as well as the energy used for it.
The answer to this question would be anyone can be. Ecoliteracy is defined in many ways to me personally, ecoliteracy means having the knowledge and a connection to the earth. In my poem, I apologized to Gods earth for taking advantage. I also wrote about how beautiful the earth was and how I want to make it beautiful again. When in our circle groups a lot of the poem and writings had much in common. All the poems and writings and somewhat to do with appreciating the earth and noticing how the earth isn’t as beautiful as it once was. Each writing was eco-literate by having a connection to the earth. A lot of the time people become eco-literate when digging into their childhood and remembering all the memories they had when outdoors. When looking into their past they remember the smell of the morning dew after waking up in a tent on a camping trip. They remember the smell of the freshly cut grass as they were laying on the hills and finding shapes in the clouds. Being eco-literate to me means going back into the past appreciating the memories nature has given us and realizing the world is dying and we need to save it, through actions and not just words.