Talking with Green Teachers
Episode 35: Watershed education

Episode 35: Watershed education

May 9, 2022

With David Ramsay of BC Tomorrow

What is watershed education? Why is it a critical component of place-based learning? How can we engage students of all ages in learning through a watershed lens? David Ramsay is well versed in using watersheds as an integrating context for learning, and he joined us to share both his tips for best practices as well as the ins and outs of BC Tomorrow’s new watershed simulator, with which students can look into the past, project the future, and take action. Water is a remarkable storyteller. All we have to do is listen to what it has to tell us.

Guest:

David Ramsay is an experienced educator in the province of BC. In 2014, while implementing watershed sustainability curricula, and alongside cofounder Barry Wilson, he began developing BC Tomorrow. With its cutting-edge technology and holistic approach, BC Tomorrow’s innovative learning tools provide opportunities to authentically investigate watershed sustainability. The student-centered, engaging platform connects learning to the students’ own world as they examine interconnections and consider some of the real-life trade-offs that go with making choices aimed at a sustainable future.

Episode 34: Inside New Jersey’s climate change ed. breakthrough

Episode 34: Inside New Jersey’s climate change ed. breakthrough

April 16, 2022

With Lauren Madden of The College of New Jersey

How did New Jersey become the first state in the US to include climate change standards across the K–12 spectrum? In what ways has teacher feedback contributed to this achievement? Why is community-based climate change education so critical? What are some high-impact individual actions and choices that can lead to systemic changes? How does this connect to systems thinking? Lauren Madden has been heavily involved with New Jersey’s innovative work on climate change education (CCed), and she shares her insights about the value of CCed, its contributions to decarbonization, and how other jurisdictions could replicate New Jersey's success.     

Guest:

Lauren Madden, Ph.D. is a Professor of Elementary Science Education in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at The College of New Jersey, where she also coordinates the Environmental Sustainability Education minor for preservice teachers and graduate certificate in Environmental Sustainability Education for practicing teachers. Her research and teaching advocate for scientific literacy and the health of our planet. She is Green Teacher’s Regional Editor for New Jersey.

Episode 33: Unpacking environmental racism with Green Ummah

Episode 33: Unpacking environmental racism with Green Ummah

April 2, 2022

With Aadil Nathani of Green Ummah

Where can you find passages about respecting nature in the Quran? How does environmentalism fit into the Five Pillars of Islam? Why is it so important to focus on solutions to our various environmental challenges? Where does all of this fit into environmental education? Aadil Nathani, one of the co-founders of Green Ummah, joined us to discuss these questions, lead listeners through a sample lesson from the Green Ummah Curriculum on environmental racism, and share some tips for making Ramadan more green. Aadil also shared his insights on how Muslim and non-Muslim folks can collaborate on a shared vision toward a greener and more just present and future.

Guest (from greenummah.org):

Aadil Nathani is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Hons. B.A.) and University of Windsor - Faculty of Law (J.D). He is currently working as a lawyer for the City of Windsor. While at Windsor Law, Aadil was involved in a collaborative project focused on municipal solutions to climate change. This experience encouraged Aadil to think about the urgent need to address climate change on different fronts, the responsibility that we each have to take care of the planet, and the deeply-rooted impacts of environmental racism. Aadil co-founded Green Ummah with the hope that it can serve as a conduit between the Muslim community and the environmental (and environmental justice) movements in Canada and beyond.

Green Ummah is a grassroots organization that seeks to create an environmental and environmental justice movement in the Canadian Muslim community. Our goal is to plant seeds for conversation about the responsibility of the Muslim community towards a healthy equitable planet. We aim to provide pathways for Muslims to integrate sustainable living into their daily lives, to educate Muslims regarding their role as Khalifa's (stewards) of the planet, and to promote equitable access to nature spaces for Muslims.

Learn about the Green Ummah Curriculum at https://greenummah.org/green-ummah-curriculum/.

Episode 32: Teaching music and drama outside in all seasons (in Winnipeg)

Episode 32: Teaching music and drama outside in all seasons (in Winnipeg)

March 27, 2022

With Jennifer Engbrecht of the Louis Riel School Division and Music Outside

What’s it like to teach music outside in the temperate zone through all seasons? How cold is too cold to learn outdoors? Can drama and movement support students’ learning of complex musical elements like meter, rhythm, and form? What opportunities do outdoor settings afford educators and learners? How does the Orff approach fit into all this? Grade 2–5 teacher Jennifer Engbrecht took her students outside for all but 11 days of the 2020-21 school year, enduring all that Winnipeg, Manitoba’s continental climate (with an annual temperature range of more than 80°C!) had to offer. This experience opened new doors for her and her students and led them to new creative heights. Hear Jennifer’s insights and her riveting story.

Guest:

Jennifer Engbrecht is a music specialist in the Louis Riel School Division in Manitoba, Canada, with an emphasis on integrating the Orff approach to music education. She has a strong interest in the interrelationship of all subject areas, especially infusing the arts into all learning, and as their own stand-alone subjects. This year, learning outside became an option, and this has led to a transformation of her philosophy of learning in the arts. To learn more about her experiences with music outside this year, visit https://engbrecht.weebly.com/music-outside.

Referenced resources:

Singer/Songwriter Raine Hamilton: rainehamilton.com

Drama Menu: https://www.youtube.com/c/DramaMenu/videos (and the book:  http://dramamenu.com/)

ActionPak Dance Resource: http://www.actionpakdanceresource.com/

Brooklands School and their outdoor learning each spring, Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/331728387 

Manitoba Arts Curricula (on a butterfly): https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/index.html 

(Description of the “butterfly”: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/music/butterfly.html

Nathan Chan and his “character study” of what The Swan by Camille St. Saëns should sound like...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNLC8ROAXjI (“Lots of people say that I express the music really well, and everyone thinks that’s the best part of me.”)

Soundtrap for Education. Interactive, collaborative music creation: Soundtrap.com 

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Education: https://wso.ca/education/digital-learning-hub/ 

Episode 31: Equity in environmental education

Episode 31: Equity in environmental education

March 23, 2022

With Sylvia Hadnot and Derek Hoshiko of E3 Washington

How can we make environmental education a more equitable space? To what extent is citing limited resources a lack of creative, inclusive thinking? What is tokenism and how can it be avoided? Which narratives about equity are both inaccurate and counter productive? Sylvia Hadnot and Derek Hoshiko are the co-chairs of E3 Washington — the Washington state affiliate of the North American Association of Environmental Education — and they have been at the leading edge of some innovative work on equity and inclusion. Just as permaculture farming is more resilient and sustainable than monoculture farming, so is a diverse community that includes all voices and the unique perspectives they bring.

Guests:

Sylvia Hadnot is a Seattle-based multicultural educator, artist, and systems thinker. With several years of educating, entrepreneurial, and artistic experience — from working with students in the King County Youth Detention Center to coaching soon-to-be teachers in anti-racist curriculum design to launching her own benefit events company at age 22 — Sylvia brings real-world knowledge and experience into her work supporting leaders with creating and maintaining the systems they need to build more liberated, powerful, sustainable, and agent individuals and communities. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Sylvia grew up in the Beacon Hill and Shoreline neighborhoods. She now lives on Lake Union with her black cat, Jabari. You can learn more about Sylvia and her work at www.haseverything.co  and contact her with any inquiries for projects or collaborations at sylvia@haseverything.co.

Derek Hoshiko is an organizer with For the People. For more the twenty years, Derek has managed groups of volunteers, activists, and entrepreneurs. In 2012, after witnessing continued inaction to stop global warming, he shifted his focus to climate action. In 2015, he journeyed over one thousand miles on a bicycle pilgrimage from Seattle to the tar sands to witness and learn about the suffering caused by fossil fuel extraction. He now heads Rapid and Just Climate Action, a project to stop global warming by 2030, and mentors Whidbey Island-wide youth climate justice coalition United Student Leaders. Derek serves on the boards of E3 Washington, the South Whidbey Schools Foundation, and Salish Sea Cooperative Finance. He has worked for change at many organizations such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Solutions, Cascadia Climate Collaborative, YES! Magazine, Seattle Good Business Network, and Web Collective, among others.

Episode 30: Gen Zs talk climate change, sustainability, and reciprocity in education

Episode 30: Gen Zs talk climate change, sustainability, and reciprocity in education

March 1, 2022

With Patricia Sung and Alexander Dickson of McGill University and Mihskakwan James Harper of NRStor Inc.

At what age did you first learn about climate change? How was it framed? Was there much talk of solutions? What is the true meaning of the word “sustainability”? How can it be more intricately woven throughout elementary and secondary education? When it comes to reciprocity, which books could be mandatory reading in certain university courses? Each member of our latest Gen-Z panel shares their experiences with environmental education before offering advice for improving it at all ages and across multiple subject areas. Though the ideas shared here do not necessarily represent the collective voice of a generation, it’s important to hear the stories and insights from those on the cusp of the workforce.

Guests:

Patricia Sung moved from Hawaii to Montreal in 2018 to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Honours Environment with a minor in GIS & Remote Sensing at McGill University. Eager to become a better caretaker of the Earth, she co-founded the Macdonald Campus Pollination Meadow in 2021 to increase local biodiversity of native wildlife species. For her honours thesis (in the Cardille Computational Landscape Ecology Laboratory), she is researching how satellite imagery can be used to better detect beaver dams in Northern Quebec (as part of a collaboration with Nunavik Geomatics and the Northern Wildlife Ecology Lab).

Alexander Kuijper Dickson is currently working towards completing his Bachelors in Bioresource Engineering and Agronomy, with a minor in entrepreneurship. His interests lie at the intersection of regenerative agriculture, ecology, and food security. He is currently leading a project to convert half an acre of lawn into a tall grass meadow to support native pollinators.

Mihskakwan James Harper is from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 8, Alberta. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and holds a Masters of Science in Renewable Energy from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and École Polytechnique. He continues to advocate for meaningful climate action through the lens of his Niheyaw upbringing, tying concepts like clean energy with long-term community well-being, sovereignty, and empowerment. He currently works full time as the Business Development Manager with an energy storage developer, NRStor Inc. He loves his family and his community now and generations ahead, which inspires him to work on energy storage and renewable energy projects to build a future that is sustainable and empowers all.

Episode 29: Biomimicry: Taking design lessons from nature

Episode 29: Biomimicry: Taking design lessons from nature

February 1, 2022

With Rosanna Ayers of The Biomimicry Institute

When facing a design challenge, ask yourself, what would nature do? Or rather, what does nature do? How can the “three seeds of biomimicry” be applied to human design? Where does regeneration fit into this framework? How can we learn more from Mother Nature? This is where educators can play an important role in learners' development. Learners bring a lot of cultural knowledge to the design process, too. It's just a matter of unleashing it! In this discussion with TBI’s Director of Youth Education, Rosanna Ayers, join us in exploring the intricacies of biomimetic design and what educators can do to open students’ eyes to the wisdom of nature.

Guest:

Rosanna Ayers has a Bachelor of Science in International Business, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, an Administrative Service Credential, and a Master of Education in Leadership and School Development, with an emphasis on Next Generation Science Standards. She teaches graduate-level integrated science courses for teacher candidates at a university and lives in the countryside with her husband and children. Rosanna is the Director of Youth Education at the Biomimicry Institute where she directs the Youth Design Challenge and other educational programs in support of increasing the scope of biomimicry in education.  

Episode 28: Bringing rocks and geology to life in land-based learning

Episode 28: Bringing rocks and geology to life in land-based learning

January 11, 2022

With Jade Harvey-Berrill of the Non-Profit Outdoor Learning Store, Take Me Outside, and Stoked on Science

How can we make rocks and geology interesting when teaching on the land? What are some strategies for getting learners to comprehend geological time? Can anyone truly conceive what a billion years means? Geological processes comprise the foundation of our landscapes, yet rocks and geology often get overshadowed by living things during nature explorations. Outdoor educator and rock enthusiast Jade Harvey-Berrill popped by to discuss strategies for enlivening geology, using a multi-sensory approach to rock explorations, a brief history of the Columbia Mountains, and her thoughts on the unresolved “drumlin drama” playing out among geologists today.      

Guest:

Jade Harvey-Berrill’s many hats include co-hosting the Earthy Chats podcast (with Talking with Green Teachers co-host Ian Shanahan), serving as Outreach and Events Manager with the Non-Profit Outdoor Learning Store and Take Me Outside, conducting educational programs through her company Stoked on Science, and writing for Scientific and Education publications. She studied Physical Geography with a specialization in paleoclimate reconstruction at Queen Mary University of London, UK.

Episode 27: Bananas in the classroom (and other fair-trade matters)

Episode 27: Bananas in the classroom (and other fair-trade matters)

December 1, 2021

With Zack Gross of the Canadian Fair Trade Network and Fairtrade Canada

Why are bananas such a great entry point for teaching fair trade? How can we champion fair trade in schools? What happens if you’re up against unsupportive administration? Zack Gross has been grappling with these questions for over five decades as a fair-trade activist throughout the world. To better educate the public about fair trade, Zack and co-editors Gavin Fridell and Sean McHugh produced The Fair Trade Handbook: Building a Better World, Together, published by Fernwood Publishing. Zack joined us to discuss the book and share his insights on effective fair-trade education. (And yes, a few fruit puns found their way into the conversation.)

Guest (from fernwoodpublishing.ca):

Zack Gross has been a Prairie-based international development activist for more than 50 years. He is a member of the Board of Fairtrade Canada and Advisory Board of the Canadian Fair Trade Network.

Episode 26: Bringing science to special ed. classrooms with PBELL

Episode 26: Bringing science to special ed. classrooms with PBELL

November 13, 2021

With Brittney Oden of The Diverse Classroom  

Why is science so often an afterthought in special ed. classrooms? How can Problem-based Enhanced Language Learning (PBELL) be used to give 100% of your students access to 100% of your content? What does Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) have to do with any of this? Brittney Oden teaches special ed. using PBELL. She also loves bees. This convergence of practice and passion led her to creating a popular inquiry-based lesson on bee conservation that recently evolved into the book, The Town That Brought Back the Bees. Hear Brittney’s insights and discover how bees changed her life!

Guest (adapted from https://earthyinfo.com/authors/):

Brittney Oden is an award-winning teacher on a mission to get more science into special education classrooms. Brittney graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in elementary and special education, and a master’s in educational psychology with a focus in creative thinking from Texas A&M University. She sprinkled science into her lessons whenever she could as teacher, and now, as a teacher mentor, she advocates STEM in reading assignments. She has started writing the Tell Me More series to shine a light on both the need for reading literacy through science, and to promote awareness of environmental issues. She lives in Tempe, Arizona, USA with her husband and son.

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