On Display: Natural Curiosity

Friday, January 18, 2013


Since 2009, I have had the opportunity to participate in the Ministry of Education's Early Primary Collaborative Inquiry (EPCI).  As part of this initiative, we were encouraged to collaborate with colleagues in our school from Kindergarten to Grade 2.  Last year our K-2 team chose to read "Natural Curiosity: A Resource for Teachers Building Children's Understanding of the World through Environmental Inquiry" for our professional book study.  This resource educated us on inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, stewardship, integrated learning, and gave us a glimpse into environmental inquiry in action.


When I entered the Twitterverse, I quickly followed Natural Curiosity @NaturlCuriosity (https://twitter.com/NaturlCuriosity)and was pleasantly surprised that they followed me back! Through this online exchange, I was able to meet Annie Chern the Project Coordinator of the Environmental Education Initiative, The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at University of Toronto. 

Here is what Annie Chern kindly wrote for today's On Display Friday Feature:


Imagine children who continually question why things look and function the way that they do. Where their natural sense of wonder is at the centre of their learning and informs the direction it will take. Where children’s formative conceptions are welcomed as opportunities for idea improvement. Where knowledge is dynamic, collectively constructed, and informed by many sources instead of ensconced in a single textbook, adult or classroom. Where information is investigated, analyzed, and negotiated between students. Where children are invested in the learning process because they have been given a key role in directing how and what they will learn. Where children learn from each other. Where the teacher learns from the children. This is Inquiry-based Learning. (Natural Curiosity, 1)

Natural Curiosity is a teacher resource focused on guiding teachers towards inquiry-based teaching and learning. Through the lens of environmental education, the resource explores the philosophy of knowledge-building communities, and the interconnected pedagogy of inquiry-based learning, integrated learning, experiential learning, and stewardship. The teachers’ stories share unique journeys towards inquiry-based teaching and making the shift to environmental inquiry. Visit www.naturalcuriosity.ca for the free full PDF of the book, and access to teacher stories and videos!



Here is the link to download: 
www.naturalcuriosity.ca


We thank Annie Chern for following us on Twitter, encouraging our Snowflake Inquiry through her tweets/retweets, and including our blog within the next Natural Curiosity newsletter. http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=10c1bf26aa38ced40c3b685a4&id=ed3a20b9a3 In addition to all of this, we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation for allowing us to feature this remarkable resources for our followers.  

I would like to leave you with this quote that resonated with me from the Natural Curiosity resource:

"The inquiry-based approach is not a rigid methodology or set of procedures. Rather, it entails an overall mindset, one that pervades school and classroom life to foster a culture of collaborative learning and idea improvement, (p.7).

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