ESCI 302 Meta Reflection

Hello and welcome to my ESCI 302 Meta Reflection.  Upon entering this course I understood what Environmental Education was, but I found it difficult explaining what it means to be an ecoliterate person, as Ecoliteracy has so many different meanings.

Throughout the course I gained knowledge on what it means to be ecoliterate. To be ecoliterate, to me means to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and to take care of our environment by cleaning up everything around us. This course has taught me a few ways as to how I can incorporate environmental education in to my future classroom or school. Some ideas that this course gave me is how we can plant mini gardens, vermicompost, or take our students on nature walks as a part of environmental education.

During this course I reflected back on my experiences and connections with the environment around me through the blog posts I created. Some connections that I have with the environment is through the resources I use.

I learned that when using our environments resources we should not be wasteful or careless. We should give back and say thank you.

In the reading “Maple Nation: A Citizen Guide,” Kimmerer states (2013) that  “[w]e’ve  got  a lot to be grateful for, and we all have to do our part to keep it going” (p.169). I agree with this quote as we all need to work together as a community in order to see the positive changes we can have on disrupting climate change.

Our generation is “becoming more ignorant of the things we must know to live well and sustainably on the earth” David Orr.

I believe that any small actions can help to disrupt the global warming that is happening around our world. Some of these actions include saving power, picking up garbage and not polluting, reducing, reusing, and recycling, as well as limiting the amount of single use plastics that we use.

I believe that if everyone does their part our environment can be clean. We need to think about our future, and how we can do something to disrupt climate change.

This course has taught me how I can incorporate environmental education in the classroom. As a future educator I want  to take my students beyond the four walls of a classroom, as I believe that students can learn from their environment. I want to challenge the norms of how students are being taught today. I want my students to understand that “school isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration” Richard Louv.

I want my students to have fun while learning, and I believe that they can have fun by exploring the outdoors. Our world provides us with endless learning opportunities, and we as educators should use these opportunities to teach our students about their environment.

 

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CJ5

 

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My Offering to the Environment 

Reflecting back on my previous journals from the beginning of the semester, an offering that I can give to the environment is reducing the amount of water I use and planting trees, by using natural water (lakes) to water plants. My family and I spend a lot of time at Fishing Lake enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

A few years ago there was a flood at Fishing Lake, and it washed out most of the trees at the lake (around our cabin). Our lot looked empty, so my family decided to plant some trees along the edge of our property, and at the front of our cabin.

Every summer my grandma asks me and my sisters to water the trees, and be sure not to step on them. When we water the plants we use the lake water, instead of wasting water out of the taps. The environment provides us with many resources such as lake water and fish, therefore I feel like we should give back to thank the environment. My family and I feel like we should be giving back to the Earth as it gives us so many resources. If the land could only speak it would say; “Ohh here are the ones who know how to say thank you” (Kimmerer, 2013, p.34).

My family planted these trees in hopes of redeveloping the land to its original form. My family and I look after these trees as our environment looks after us. For my creative journal I decided to take a picture of a tree and the creek from our field trip to the eco museum. The tree represents the trees at our cabin and the creek represents the natural water we use to help the tree grow. I believe that small actions/offerings like this, can be a way of saying thank you to our environment.

 

References

Wall Kimmerer, R. (2013). The Offering. In Braiding Sweetgrass (p. 34).

 

CJ4

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My Experiences at the Lake 

Every summer my family and I go to Fishing Lake. We swim, we have campfires, and most of all we fish. When connecting this to colonization, I connected this to when settlers first arrived and used resources from the environment to survive. Settlers came and used the resources (such as fish), and they never gave anything back in return.

I connected my experience of fishing as an example of colonialization. My family and I go to Fishing Lake and fish (use the resources that our environment provides us with). We fish for our own use (food and enjoyment).

Throughout this course I learnt that when we take we should give back. Looking back at my journal entry #1, I do give back by cleaning up any garbage found around the lake. I pick up any garbage that is lying around or stuck in the rocks by the lake.

My visual represents Fishing Lake. The beautiful lake, and the fish that the environment provides me and my family with. The sand and the rocks I have to cross to get to the lake. I can disrupt the idea of fishing as being a colonizing act, by giving back and thanking the environment for the resources it provides us with.

 

CJ3 (Environmental Education: Grade 11 Camping Trip)

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Creative Blog Post #3 – Environmental Education: Grade 11 Camping Trip

After reading “Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education” by Liz Newberry, an experience that I had with environmental education popped into my head. This experience is my grade 11 camping trip, where my physical education teacher took my class and the grade 10 students to Echo Lake Provincial Park for one night. Being that there was a lot of students he invited a few parents to join us on our trip as chaperones.

When we first arrived at Echo Lake, we all had to set up our tents, which I found to be quite entertaining as some of my fellow classmates tents kept on collapsing. Once our tents were set up our teacher split us up into small groups so that we could begin with the activities. Some of the activities that we did during our trip were; canoeing, geocaching, and a nature walk. These activities were led by my teacher and a few people who work at the park.

The first activity that I got to do was geocaching. My group and I would walk around the park searching for little boxes, using a gps to find them. The scenery was beautiful, as we were surrounded by trees and plants. Next I got to go canoeing. I enjoyed spending time on the water and looking at the wilderness that surrounded me. In the “Sound of Silverbells,” the narrator has a similar experience with wilderness (nature). The narrator describes the scenery; “The woods dance[d] with colors of wildflowers, nodding sprays of white dog wood and … pink froth of redbuds…” (Kimmerer, 2013, p. 218). When we think of wilderness (nature), we tend to think of the beautiful things we see around us (plants, trees, animals, lakes, clouds, sun, etc.).  We describe “[w]ilderness as … a space of rejuvenation, of peace, of wild danger, of inspiration, of adventure” (Newberry, 2012, p. 33). We tend to ignore the negative impacts that we have on wilderness because of our actions. We believe that the wilderness is a place to relax and go on adventures, such as my camping trip experience. We tend to forget that wilderness is our home; wilderness surrounds us. I believe that it is our job to take care of our environment (wilderness), while we continue to enjoy its beauty.

I enjoyed going on my camping trip (canoeing, geocaching, nature hike), but I feel like we did not respect our environment as there was a lot of litter everywhere when we left. Our teacher did not encourage us to clean up/ pay back the environment for the time we got to spend there (relax).  I believe that in order to make sure that future generations can enjoy the wilderness, we need to step up and look after it (nature).

 

References

Newbery, L. (2012). Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Space of Outdoor Environmental Education. Retrieved March 2, 2019, from https://cjee.lakeheadu.ca/article/view/1112/653

Wall Kimmerer, R. (2013). Sound of Silverbells. In Braiding Sweetgrass (pp. 216-222). Canada: Milkweed Editions.

 

Ecoliteracy Braid

What it Means to be and Ecoliterate Person

To be an ecoliterate person, you should understand the environment (nature) and help keep our environment clean for future generations. There are tons of actions you can do to connect with nature, and take care of our environment. When describing what it means to be an ecoliterate person, some people may have similar or different definitions from you on what it means to be “ecoliterate.”

To be an ecoliterate person Jade states that we could begin by “being a part of and engaging with the environment around [us].” Jade’s view is similar to mine, as she described an ecoliterate person as someone who connects has a relationship with our environment.  In my poem I describe someone who “admire[s] the animals, plants, and trees, [f]rom squirrels to flowers to evergreens.” Our environment is a beautiful place, and we should learn to love “every moment in nature … [and] [make] unforgettable memories in our environment.” Jade’s poem is similar to my poem, as both poems focus on the admiration of our environment and the relationships we have with nature. Another poem that is similar to mine is Mack’s poem. In Mack’s poem he states that “small step[s] you see … could change the Earth, you and me.” To be an ecoliterate person you should notice and care about the changes that are happening around us. In my poem I also discuss the changes that are occurring; “You care about the changes that are happening around us, [w]hile other people stand around and make such a fuss, [a]bout the issue of climate change or global warming, [y]ou notice that these changes are very alarming.” In both Mack’s poem and my poem we discuss that there are actions that can be done to disrupt what is happening (climate change). Mack focuses on the act of recycling; ” Recycling is such a small step you see,” but this small step is a good place to start. In my poem I discuss a few small actions that can be done, from              “reduc[ing], reus[ing], and recycle[ing],” to walking or biking instead of driving, and picking up garbage off the ground. These “[s]mall actions … will help keep our environment clean.” In both Mack’s poem and my poem we state that everyone must work together and “do their part” in order to see any huge changes. It seems that both Mack’s, Jade’s, and my poem speak of being ecoliterate as connecting with nature, and caring and helping out our environment.

A poem that I found to be different from mine is Mateus’ poem. I enjoyed reading Mateus’ poem, as it had a different view then mine, on what it means to be ecoliterate. Mateus’ poem was discussing ecoliteracy in a scientific viewpoint. Mateus discusses the environment  using different word to describe the same thing; ” I see parrots, I see maritacas, I see Psittacara leucophtalma.” He uses words such as “Psittacara leucophtalma” to describe parrots, to show us that we need to have a deeper understanding of nature (learn about nature in a deeper, scientific context). In doing so we can think about the negative changes that are occurring, in a scientific framework. Mateus discusses that “[w]e must learn” about the changes that are occurring, and my poem discusses what these change are; the “issue of climate change or global warming.”

I connected my poem to the reading “What is Education for?” by David Orr. According to Orr “we are becoming more ignorant of the things we must know to live well and sustainably on the earth.” Some people are ignoring the facts that change is occurring, and instead of doing something to disrupt climate change people are “standing around and mak[ing] such a fuss.” My poem discusses that we should not be ignoring the facts that climate change is occurring, instead there are small action that can be taken to disrupt the effects of climate change. According to Orr; “The truth is that many things on which our future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeopardy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural systems, the beauty of the natural world, and biological diversity.” It’s our job to ensure that our environment doesn’t get further damaged for future generations. It’s our job to take care of our environment, so that future generations can enjoy what we have today.

 

 

Ecoliteracy Poem

 

Caring About Our Environment    

You admire the animals, plants, and trees,

From squirrels to flowers to evergreens.

You reduce, reuse, and recycle,

Instead of driving you walk or ride your bicycle.

When garbage is found lying around,

You pick it up off of the ground.

You care about the changes that are happening around us,

While other people stand around and make such a fuss,

About the issue of climate change or global warming,

You notice that these changes are very alarming.

You understand that we need to help out,

Instead of doing nothing but shout.

We all have to stick together and do our part,

You are an ecoliterate person who has a head start.

You care about our Earth

And its self-worth.

Cleaning up our environment by reducing your carbon footprint is a good start,

It is time that everyone does their part.

Small actions or big leaps,

Any action will help keep our environment clean.

 

 

 

 

 

CJ2:(Cleaning Up Our Environment)

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Our world is changing in numerous ways. Temperatures are increasing, water levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and forest fires and flooding are happening way more frequently. These are just some of the effects that global warming has on our environment. The human race is the main cause of these effects, and it’s humans who will have to act fast before they get worse. There are small actions that we can all do to help out our environment.

My visual representation is a simple act or step that we can take to clean up our environment. We can pick up any garbage around us that we see, even if it’s not ours. We should be cleaning up the environment and thanking it for the resources that it provides us with. Reflecting back on my memories at Fishing Lake, SK, I remember how it use to look before the flood. Fishing Lake was beautiful, with trees and sandy beaches everywhere. There is still a few tress left around the lake, but my family and I are seeing a lot more garbage along were our beach used to be. There are rocks that build up a berm and that is where most of the garbage is. Sometimes my family and I go for walks along the berm and pick up the garbage so that it does not end up in the lake. I believe that little actions will help, rather than doing nothing.

More people need to act as well, and help take care of our environment. There are little acts of reciprocity that you can do, such as consume less (only use what you need), and clean up any waste around you. These are just a few examples of actions that anyone can do to thank the environment for what it provides us with.

In the reading “Maple Nation: A Citizen Guide,” Kimmerer (2013) states that; “We’ve got a lot to be grateful for, and we all have to do our part to keep it going” (p.169). The environment is beautiful and it provides us with great resources, but if we want our environment to stay beautiful and keep providing us with resources we have to learn how to consume less and help keep it clean. Simple acts of reciprocity that we can do is pick up garbage, turn the lights off when they are not needed, walk more and drive less, only use what we need (resources). My act of reciprocity is to pick up garbage that I see, as a way of thanking the environment for the resources it provides me with.

 

References

 Kimmerer, R. (2013). Maple Nation: A Citizen Guide. In Braiding Sweetgrass (p. 169). Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed Editions.