WildED Program Summary
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  • 1. WILDED…NATURE IS OUR CLASSROOM! Today, there is a generation of young people growing up without any real experience or knowledge of wilderness or nature, resulting in a seriousdisconnect. The WildED program reconnects young people with nature so theycan experience, know and understand the value of nature as well as its critical role in the health and sustainability of our communities.
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction to WildED _____________________________ 1   Vision _________________________________________________ 2   Goals and Program Philosophy ____________________________ 2  Curriculum________________________________________ 3   Instructional Framework – WWW _________________________ 3   Philosophy of Learning __________________________________ 4   Key Learning Themes and Objectives ______________________ 5  Educational Program Offerings _______________________ 7   WildED In-school Programs ______________________________ 7   WildED Outdoor Classroom Programs _____________________ 7   WildED Interpretive Nature Hikes _________________________ 8   WildED Teacher Workshops and Online Curriculum Resources 8  The WildEDucation Team __________________________ 10  
  • 3. Introduction to WildED WildED is an award winning, experiential, school-based nature education program that is BC curriculum-linked for students in grades 4 -12. Our programs are delivered by professional teachers with backgrounds in biology and natural sciences. They are also experienced outdoor educators and wilderness explorers who share their knowledge and lifetime of adventures to capture the imagination and wonder of young people with their inspirational stories. WildED programs are widely applicableto a range of academic subjects from grade 4 through to 12 with relevant learning outcomes inscience, geography, social studies, phys-ed, visual arts and the language arts. More than 50,000students and teachers have experienced our innovative school programs, nature hikes, andteacher workshops over the past decade.THE DIFFERENCE WE ARE MAKINGWildED takes a lead role in educating young people about our remarkable wilderness history andlegacy. We are providing in-nature experiences in provincial and regional parks, and we areworking closely with school teachers to ensure nature education is re-introduced into mainstreamschool curriculum. Our program model is tested and proven. Over the past decade, we haveworked to ensure WildED is providing a program that:  Inspires a personal connection to nature, parks and wilderness among young people  Increases understanding of, and appreciation for, the natural world  Motivates young people to take action to care for nature and wild places  Encourages learning by experiencing nature first-hand  Serves the full range of our culturally and ethnically diverse populations, since the school districts we serve in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley are themselves ethnically diverse - Asian, and Indo-Canadian ethnic communities, demographically represent almost 40% of the population in the school districts we serve  Engages and invests in youth by providing additional opportunities for leadership and skills training, and facilitating youth involvement in community restoration projects in our local parks  Encourages and supports youth participation in decision-making processes that impact their communities  Promotes active, healthy lifestyles for young people  Provides educational rigour to facilitate integration into BC school curriculumWildED Program Summary 1
  • 4. Geographic Reach: WildED’s program delivery is focused on the Lower Mainland, FraserValley, Sea to Sky Corridor, and the Sunshine Coast where approximately 70% of BritishColumbia’s population resides. Distribution of WildED programs is facilitated via our website,where teachers can download teaching resources, lesson plans, and activities. We also provideteacher support to schools via email and our toll-free phone line.Awards and CertificationWildED has received six awards for excellence in environmental education and communityservice, and is a Green Street approved program provider. * Green Street Certification meeting national benchmarks for excellence in environmental learning and sustainability education * Gold Award for Education received from Burns Bog Conservation Society * Roger Hammill Memorial Award for Environmental Education * Sanford Award received from the Vancouver Natural History Society for extraordinary achievement in community service * British Columbia Ministers Environmental Award received from the BC Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks for excellence in environmental education * BC Environmental Education Award received from the Environmental Education Provincial Specialist Association for an outstanding contribution to environmental education in British Columbia schools * Eugene Rogers Environmental Award from the United Nations Association, Vancouver Branch, and Western Canada Wilderness CommitteeVisionWildED recognizes that being a responsible citizen andsteward of the environment is a life-long journey,beginning in childhood. The vision and purpose forWildED is a world where youth see nature, parks, andwilderness as fundamental to their identity and survival,see the stewardship of wild places as theirresponsibility, and have an understanding of thechallenges and solutions to environmental issues theywill be inheriting, and as a society, will need to address.Goals and Program Philosophy“If education and other forces, intentionally or unintentionally, continue to push the young awayfrom direct experiences in nature, the cost to science itself will be high. Most scientists todaybegan their careers as children, chasing bugs and snakes, collecting spiders, and feeling awe inthe presence of nature. Since such untidy activities are fast disappearing, how, then, will ourfuture scientists learn about nature? I fear they will not.” Paul Dayton, Ph.D., winner of theE.O.Wilson Naturalist AwardWildED Program Summary 2
  • 5. Today, there is a generation of young people growing up without any real experience orknowledge of wilderness or nature. Further to that, there is no teaching module in the schoolcurriculum that provides students with a broad understanding of the vital importance and role ofnature as it relates to the health of our planet and future sustainability of our society. We areconcerned future generations will not be prepared to solve and address serious issues such asclimate change if they have not been educated, nor provided a context for understanding thehuman/nature context of those issues. The WildED program exists to address these concerns.WildED reconnects young people with nature thereby ensuring future generations have anunderstanding of our human/nature relationship as it is fundamental to our identity and essentialto our survival. Above all, WildED educates, inspires, and motivates the future leaders andscientists who, through their connection to nature, will find solutions that address environmentalchallenges related to the health of our planet and sustainability of our society.WildED Goals:  To ensure this generation of young people see nature, wildlife, and parks as fundamental to their identity and the stewardship of wild places as their responsibility  To facilitate and inspire youth to make a personal connection with nature, wildlife and parks by experiencing nature first-hand  To facilitate education for young people who are nature literate and inspired to become the future leaders, and scientists who will help find solutions for environmental issues related to the health of our planet and future sustainability of our society.CurriculumInstructional Framework – WWW WildED’s objective is to provide students and teachers with: Wonder to inspire a personal connection with wilderness Wisdom to understand and appreciate the importance of the natural world Works to get outdoors and to take action in preserving and conserving our wild places All of our programs follow the instructional framework of Wonder, Wisdom and Works. We believe that when students see wild places and getout to experience them, Wonder will result. Wonder is followed with a desire to become learnmore about wild places (Wisdom). It is our hope that youth, who are amazed by and know aboutnature and wild places, will desire to “get out there,” and “take action.” We provide the waysfor students to take action (Works) by linking students with existing organizations, by providingWildED Program Summary 3
  • 6. opportunities for youth to go into the wilderness, and facilitating youth to act as ambassadors forwild places. Each WildED presentation covers outcomes within this framework at a levelappropriate to the audience’s age.Philosophy of LearningWildED educators are professionalteachers who have worked withinour formal education system andtherefore have the background,experience, and understanding ofthe needs and challenges teachersface day to day. Our curriculum isdesigned with a view to providingrelevant, meaningful, and easyways to integrate teachings into theclassroom on an ongoing basis.WildED subscribes to thefollowing pedagogical ideas:The Outdoor Classroom: There isno greater way to learn about the natural world than to spend time in it. With this in mind,WildED attempts to take students outside whenever possible for the most authentic learningexperience.Experiential Learning: Our approach to nature education is experiential, with an aim tofacilitating a life-long connection to nature, parks, and wilderness. Hands-on activities are usedto foster that connection, e.g. nature interpretive walks to create awareness, exercises in natureappreciation through art, and investigation and discovery through nature scavenger hunts.Connected to the World Outside the Classroom: We use problem-based learning in a real-world context to demonstrate how students’ own lives are connected and linked to wildlife andnature. We promote local, relevant positive actions through follow-up activities that encouragestudents to directly experience nature as well as connecting them to local nature clubs orstewardship groups.Case Studies: Case studies and scenarios are used to explore current issues, challenges, and therange of possible solutions e.g. Case Study: British Columbia’s Parks System; Multi-StakeholderPark Planning Simulation Process.Student-directed Learning: Students have the opportunity to practice critical thinking andprocesses since our interactive programs use a problem-based learning approach and includegames, hands-on activities, music, and multi-media presentations.Curriculum Linked: WildED readily integrates into prescribed curriculum. In addition, alllearning materials provide teachers clear instructions, objectives, background information as wellas suggestions for adaptations.Constructivist Learning: Because WildED is curriculum linked, our lesson plans and activitiesreadily build upon the students’ previous learning.Accommodating Diverse Learners: Our program subscribes to Multiple Intelligence LearningTheory to accommodate diverse learners. There are eight ‘intelligences’ and we cover all eighte.g. kinesthetic, spatial, musical, logical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, and naturalist.WildED Program Summary 4
  • 7. Open-ended instruction: WildEDis catalytic in creating awareness,enthusiasm, and curiosity todiscover more. It triggers teacherled follow-up in a number of areasbased on student interest.Integrated Learning: Ourprogram acknowledges thateverything is interconnected. Weexamine wild systems compared tosystems developed by humans, andthe inter-relationship between thetwo e.g. exploring the implicationsof our actions as they may affectthe health of wildlife orwilderness.Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning: Our interactive program engages studentswith knowledge testing games such as Survivor. Our Feedback and Evaluation forms facilitatestudent assessments and include opportunities for reflection and self-assessment.Supporting Teacher Self Sufficiency & Competency through Ongoing Support: Through in-class instruction, interactive teacher workshops, our website and toll-free phone number, weprovide ongoing teacher support. In addition, WildED’s website provides access to onlineteacher resources, lesson plans, and activities that are adaptable and can be readily integrated forall grade levels in order to increase teacher self-sufficiency and competency. Teachers andstudents have access to a WildED educator for ongoing support via email and also via our toll-free number.Key Learning Themes and Objectives Key learning themes, as below, are a direct reflection of WildED goals, objectives and our program philosophy. Our Changing Climate: WildED integrates concepts that relate to climate change in the context of our human/nature relationship to assist students in gaining an understanding of how our own choices offer hope for future solutions. Using a combination of case studies, existing scientific data, and their own “on the ground” field observations, students are able to learn about the effect that climate change has on various environments/ecosystems and the human populations that depend upon them. Ecosystems: WildED provides students with spectacular images, games, and hands-on activities to help them understand the importance of keystone species, how food webs function, types of interactions between species, the cycling of nutrients, and the interdependence of life. We also introduce students toWildED Program Summary 5
  • 8. BC’s amazing wildlife, what these animals need to survive, and the importance of each speciesin the web of life. Students are taught how their own lives are linked to wildlife and wild areas.Biodiversity: Through guided imagery, stories, and outdoor hands-on experiences, we helpstudents feel the excitement of nature exploration, the awe of spectacular landscapes, anddevelop a respect for BC’s amazing biodiversity. Students are also introduced to the incrediblevariety of species that have adapted specially to inhabit BC’s wilderness areas.Lifestyle & Sustainable Consumption: Our program challenges students to critically evaluateissues of sustainability, resource management, and conservation. Students learn how their ownlives are linked to nature and wildlife through topics such as: the human influence on the carboncycle; nature, a source of clean air and water; and, consumption and resource extraction and theireffects on ecosystems. We examine past and present ways in which humans have interacted withnature, and critically evaluate their role in the sustainable use of living and non-living resources.Water: WildED programs address the critical importance of our rivers, oceans, riparian zones,and lakes as wildlife habitat and the lifeblood of our ecosystems.Program Objectives:  To educate and provide an understanding of the interconnectedness of human systems and systems in the natural world – our human/nature relationship  To motivate and support students to develop environmental awareness and appreciation of nature and wild places  To ensure students recognize the vital importance of nature, parks and wilderness to a sustainable future  To inspire students to protect and preserve our rich wilderness legacy  To encourage and support student involvement in nature-oriented environmental activities in their communitiesAs a result of experiencing WildED, students will:• Have knowledge of the interconnectedness of the natural world. Be aware of their personal connection to nature, parks and wilderness and make personal lifestyle choices to reflect this, e.g. reducing their ecological footprint• Have an understanding of climate change challenges and solutions, as well as other environmental issues resulting from our human/nature relationship• Be prepared as future leaders, scientists and decision- makers to address challenges, and design solutions, to environmental issues• Be inspired to take an active role within their community in protecting nature and wild spaces, e.g. join a stewardship group or conservation organization or start an environment club at their school.• Be motivated to recreate in and explore diverse natural areas and park landscapes.WildED Program Summary 6
  • 9. Educational Program Offerings “WildED will have a tremendous impact as today’s students mature and take what they havelearned and apply it to their lives and communities.” Grade 8 Teacher, North VancouverWildED delivers in-school and outdoor classroom programs, interpretive nature hikes, aswell as workshops for teachers. We also provide free online curriculum resources and supportfor teachers.WildED In-school ProgramsIn-school programs are designed to bring natureinto the classroom. Programs are curriculum-linked for grades 4 - 12. WildEDucators engagestudents with the spectacular images in our multi-media slide shows, and with interactive gamesand activities that reinforce learning outcomes.Key learning themes include:  Conservation and the Importance of Parks, Wilderness, and Wildlife Areas  Ecosystems and Landscapes  Plants and AnimalsWildED Outdoor Classroom Programs Outdoor experiences provide a more in-depth and memorable learning experience for students beyond what a textbook can convey. WildEDs Outdoor Classroom programs move the science classroom into nature where students experience, explore, and learn first- hand. We provide innovative outdoor, science- based programs that are BC curriculum-linked for students in grades 4 to 12. Outdoor Classroom programs include: EXPLORING THE NATURE OF OUR CHANGING CLIMATE with WildEDJoin WildED in the Outdoor Classroom, where we combine active exploration with up-to-datescientific information to tell the story of our changing climate. This fun and hopeful programemphasizes our human/nature connection and the potential for personal action to create solutionsfor positive change. GETTING TO KNOW OUR REGIONAL PARKS with WildEDWhat do salmon, wildlife, First Nations, rivers, drinking water, rainforests, wetlands, andrecreation all share in common? They are all part of the amazing story of our Regional Parks!WildED Program Summary 7
  • 10. Join WildED on an outdoor adventure as we experience the wonder and living lessons offered byour Regional Parks, making personal connections to special places and diverse species.THE PARKS EDUCATION OUTDOOR CLASSROOM AT MOUNT SEYMOURExperience WildEDs school program based out of the Parks Heritage Centre in Mount SeymourProvincial Park. WildEDucators lead interactive, educational sessions in the Parks HeritageCentre and then take learning into the outdoor classroom on one of Mount Seymours manyspectacular trails, where students actively explore and hike among majestic old-growth DouglasFirs and Western Red Cedars.WildED Interpretive Nature HikesWildED’s guided nature hikes aredesigned to provide catalytic in-nature experiences for students ingrades 4 – 12. Nature hikes takeplace in various provincial andregional parks within the LowerMainland. Students are given theopportunity to actively explore andlearn about nature and parks first-hand while also benefiting from theopportunity to be outdoors and getphysically active. WildED NatureHike programs promote active,healthy lifestyles for young people.Key learning themes include:  Appreciating Nature, Parks, and Wilderness  Understanding Local Ecosystems  Local Plants and Animals  Stewardship and No Trace SkillsWildED Teacher Workshops and Online Curriculum Resources WildED also conducts hands-on educational workshops for teachers conferences and Pro-D days that provide a detailed overview of our curriculum linked syllabus, as well as a better understanding of how to go outdoors with your students. Teachers are given the opportunity to experience aspects of the WildED program as a student. Depending on the length of the workshop, the presentation may include a slide presentation, examples of learning games, outdoor classroom activities, or a natureWildED Program Summary 8
  • 11. hike. The presenter will be one of WildED’s professional educators/wilderness explorer whouses these activities to connect students with nature, to increase students’ understanding of wildplaces, and to help students take action in preserving and conserving our wild places.In addition, we provide free, downloadable curriculum-linked teaching resources via our websiteand also offer support services that allow our program to be easily replicated and deliveredindependently by teachers province-wide. The intention is to make WildED easily accessible tothose teachers who have an interest in integrating nature education into their classrooms as wellas to broaden our outreach.WildED Program Summary 9
  • 12. The WildEDucation Team… Sherry Reid, WildED Program Director, is an environmental management geographer with over 15 years experience managing education programs in the non- profit sector. Sherry directs the day-to-day operation of WildED including stakeholder and partner relations, project development, fundraising, promotion, marketing and communications, and human resources management. Sherry has successfully facilitated formal working relationships with regional and provincial government agencies, as well as partnerships with business and community organizations. Under Sherry’s direction WildED has grown to triple its capacity for school program delivery and budget in the past six years, and has attained Green Street Certification, a national certification standard recognized by teachers thatmeets national benchmarks for excellence in environmental learning and sustainability education. Sheena Careless, WildED Curriculum Development, is a certified teacher with a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography/Environmental Studies. With experience in both formal and informal education environments, Sheena has taught sustainability education programs here in British Columbia for the Sea to Sky Outdoor School for Sustainability Education as well as WildED for the last six years. More recently, Sheena has taken a lead role in developing WildED program content, curriculum and teacher resources to ensure continued integration into prescribed learning outcomes as required by the BC Ministry of Education, in particular, within the context of the recently implemented Environmental Learning and Experience Curriculum Guide. Jason Wade, WildEDucator, has an Honours Degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from York University. Upon graduating University, Jay traveled the continent studying birds and mammals in such places as Alaska and the Yukon. With a strong passion for teaching students about nature, he made the choice to transition from a biological researcher to an environmental educator. Since then, Jay has been delivering nature education programs for youth in various settings. Jay is an experienced educator with over five years experience developing and delivering outdoor education programs to students, youth-at-risk, and special needs groups. He takes great pleasure in guiding students through quality interactions with nature so they too may be inspired to find their own intrinsicconnection. Jay joined WildED 3 years ago where he has contributed immensely to the quality and breadth ofWildED outdoor programs. Prior to WildED, Jay worked as an Outdoor Education Specialist with the TorontoDistrict School Board and as a Senior Park Interpreter for Parks Canada in Point Pelee National Park. In his sparetime Jay can be found exploring BC’s wilderness. He is also an active community volunteer, contributing his timeand expertise to nature education programs that focus on working with youth at risk. Allison Prime, WildEDucator, is a certified BC teacher and experienced outdoor educator dedicated to using the outdoor classroom to foster self- confidence in students, as well as a love for each other and the earth. She migrated to the West Coast from Ontario where she spent her childhood summers paddling on the lakes of Algonquin Park. Allison graduated with a BA in International Development Studies from McGill University and completed her teaching degree in the Outdoor Experiential and Ecological Education program at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Since arriving on the West Coast, Allison has focused on enabling students to make connections between their choices and how they affect the ecological systemsthat support life on this planet. In addition to her numerous volunteer pursuits working with young people,Allison spends her free time singing, playing the guitar and exploring local forests.WildED Program Summary 10