Reading Response #6
Moving Towards Environmental Education
After reading the article “Learning from Place: A Return to Traditional Mushkegowuk Ways of Knowing” by Jean – Paul Restoule, Sheila Gruner, and Edmund Metatawabin, I learnt that teaching and learning does not have to occur in a “classroom” environment. This article reveals how the Mushkegowuk Cree people honor and learn from the land and nature. Restoule, Gruner, and Metatawabin share how children and elders (community members) would gather and share their experiences and connections with the land. According to Restoule, Gruner, & Metatawabin (2013); “Learning from land and place beyond institutional walls is a return to traditional Mushkegowuk modes of teaching and learning” (p.82). In the past the Mushkegowuk people were forced to learn within institutional walls (residential schools), but now they are allows to learn from their elders and the land. They are moving away from the past to ensure that their children learn about their land, culture, and history.
I believe that the land can teach many lessons to students; therefore as educators we should take our students outside to connect and learn through their explorations with nature and the land. We should stray away from the idea that subjects can only be taught within a classroom, because that ideology is not true.
After reading this narrative, I took into consideration the lessons that students can learn from elders and community members. Educators are not the only people who can teach valuable lessons. There are people within our community who can teach our students lessons by sharing their knowledge and experiences. As a future educator I want to take my students outside to learn and connect with the environment. I am currently in ESCI 302 (Environmental Education), and have learnt that some children have better learning experiences by being outside.
I enjoy the thought of having elders and community members coming into classrooms and sharing their stories and experiences. As a future educator I want to have an open classroom where everyone is welcome (parents, students, elders, community members, etc.). I have learnt from this reading “that connection to nature is important to children’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual development” (Kellert, 2005, p. 70). By allowing children to explore and learn outside you are helping them develop physical and emotionally. As a future educator I want to take my students outside and allow them to learn and explore our environment. I want to hopefully help other educators understand that lessons can be taught amongst four institutional walls, we just have to provide our students with the opportunities to explore beyond those walls.
Restoule, J., Gruner, S., & Metatawabin, E. (2013). Learning from place.pdf. Retrieved February 10, 2019, from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dI7wj8JcsOuMVHjWx1aKJy3XzCSoyYuc/view