Sessions & Workshops

EECOM 2018 will have over 100 sessions, workshops, field studies and activities to choose from!


Here is a taste of some of the sessions and workshops that you can look forward to:

Session Title Description:
A Changing Atmosphere in Canada: Teaching & Learning About Climate Change Hear from climate change educators from across the country and explore the current state of education on this topic in Canada. The panelists will offer their views across regions, generations, and institutions, and provide resources for educators to continue who find climate change challenging to teach.
A Changing Climate: a framework for incorporting climate literacy into nature based programs Alberta Parks in Kananaskis Country has spent the past year piloting methods for including climate literacy to their environmental education programs.  This outdoor session will provide insight into this framework while being engaged in a variety of activities that will provoke, build knowledge and support active citizenship and stewardship.
A Hands-on Introduction to Forest School Participants will become familiar with the Forest School philosophy through hands-on activities and facilitated discussions. Be prepared to go outside and participate in creative play and allow yourself to tap into your inner child.
A Wild Braid of Words and Worlds: A Re(story)ative Inquiry through Métissage Intended to disrupt culturally dominant stories, Métissage (or life-writing) invites a counter-narrative for difficult times. First, we write individual stories and then together, weaving line by line, we braid a re(story)ative mix of perspectives shaping another story far greater than any particular story with implications for positive action and change.
Art with and inspired by nature Our workshop will be a hands-on workshop where participates will try different projects that could be used with students to deepen their connection to place focussing on art projects that are inspired by nature or are using nature.
Attuning with Place: Practices of Living Belonging with Community Towards a worldly (re)enchantment, in attuning to the lively and vibrant materiality of place, this workshop draws upon a year-long researcher/teacher collaboration. It is enacted through direct, embodied, and multi-sensory practices of ‘Mindful Walking’ and ‘Tracing Worlds’, offering participants a deep inquiry into the moral inter-dependency between humans and more-than-humans.
Beyond Recycling: Lessons from a 20-week Eco-footprint Learning Journey This session will highlight a sustainability education program that has been delivered by Wildsight for over ten years.   Beyond Recycling explores a variety of topics including waste, energy, and consumer choices, though the lens of the Ecological Footprint.
Bring risky/thrilling play into your students lives and improve their physical and mental health Rough and tumble play, play at great heights, around dangerous landscape features, with tools, at great speeds or where you could get lost – research shows these are good for kids.  See how our Nature Kindergarten facilitates them in a developmentally responsive way and how it has benefitted students.
Bringing it Home to Students: Climate Change Where They Live In this interactive session, participants will learn how to use the Inquiry Method to ignite student curiosity in local issues and provide youth with real opportunities to grapple with tough global issues on a local scale, using GreenLearning’s Climate Change Where I Live module as a basis for discussion.
Building better skills and climate communications The Narratives Project is a citizen social science research project that connects educators to the people in their communities. In this session, participants will learn how Albertans are using ground-breaking social science to include more perspectives and more voices in climate-energy conversation.
Classrooms to Communities in BC: Growing a Provincial Network for Place-Based Education This highly interactive, dialogue-oriented strategy session will aim to share and map collective successes from communities around the province, welcome new collaborative partners to the circle, identify future potentials, and build a regional and provincial growth strategy to achieve an active and dynamic coalition for place-based education in BC.
Climate Change Art Perhaps it is time to stop thinking of art, as physical productions of culture, apart from the environment and landscape, and begin reinforcing CCA as an approach to systematic transformation.
Climate Change Champions – Enhancing Youth Climate Literacy and Action Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our time. It is local and it is current. Learn how to take a place-based approach to climate education. This session will provide you with lesson plans and resources to increase youth awareness and action about core climate concepts.
Climate Talk: Strategies for effective climate change communication Communicating climate change can be challenging for educators, communicators, and activists. In this session you’ll learn the main principles of effective climate change communication. You’ll leave with the tools to inspire your students to discuss climate change with their peers and engage in climate action.
Community, Learning and Play: A Day at the Ottawa Forest and Nature School Whether just a few trees or a majestic forest, children can find magic in the most ordinary of spaces. This session discusses the significance of place, play and community in a day under the canopy at the Ottawa Forest and Nature School.
Connecting Our Nature Relationship with  Indigenous Culture This workshop is designed to help one discover their unique attunement with the natural world through a process of creative envisioning, time travel and sharing. These unique attachments will be discussed as to how our attachments to the natural world are mediated by culture and how we can best use this knowledge to educate.
Dancing with the Leaves: Connecting to Place through Stories and Art Dance with the leaves! Make music with birds. Let the landscape help us tell our stories. Allow stillness to fill our ears with talk. Come join our interactive outdoor session where we will discover the connection between nature’s creativity and our own, and cultivate a reciprocal relationship with the land.
Developing a Sense of Place and Being Participants will be introduced to a simple activity, mediated by a nature walk, that will help them reflect upon how they engage with the natural environment through direct and immediate experience, question their own assumptions about these relationships, and explore other ways of knowing.
Dialogue for co-creating Holistic curriculum between community and K-12 educators. This session concerns co-creation of Holistic place-based curriculum between non-formal community educators and formal classroom educators across the curriculum.  How can we truly connect to community using the new BC curriculum and Holistic principles of inclusiveness, balance and connection to create spaces to achieve transformative experiences for educator and student?
Digital interactive tools to connect classrooms to the ocean Learn about and try newly released ocean literacy tools available to classrooms and non-formal educators from Ocean School.  This inquiry based approach to ocean knowledge is targeted to students grade 6-9 and uses a virtual and augmented reality to allow students to journey to environments deep in the ocean.
Earthquakes and Tsunamis: Oceanographic science and Nuu-chah-nulth cultural perspectives An introductory workshop to an education resource highlighting Nuu-chah-nulth stories and the science of earthquakes and tsunamis. This interactive and place-based resource features Ocean Networks Canada’s underwater observatories and how they support learning and research. Also included are accounts from Nuu-chah-nulth knowledge holders surrounding earthquakes and tsunamis within their territory.
EEPSA Annual General Meeting Join EEPSA (The Environmental Educators’ Provincial Specialist Association) for this success story sharing.  We will highlight this past year’s initiatives and collaborations, get updates from Local Chapters, set our goals for 2018/19, and hold elections for our executive.  All are welcome to attend, but voting is restricted to EEPSA members.
Energy Efficiency Education and Climate Action: Youth as Energy Managers This session will explore the ways that educators can ‘make energy visible’ to learners, to empower them to take action on climate change. We will discuss ways that educators can directly meet curriculum requirements, while engaging in collaborative learning that involves data, analytics, business development and energy efficiency technologies.
Every context’s a learning context: Community-based initiatives and their learning potential This workshop focusses on how we, educators in non-formal educational contexts, engage community-level participants in learning processes through community-based environmentally-focussed initiatives. Workshop participants are invited to reflect upon their work and share experiences. Reflection focusses on successes and challenges to identify beneficial practices that enable desired sustainability-related learning outcomes.
From Kindergarten to Post-Graduate – Learning for the Clean Growth Economy Learn how Clean fosters leaders in the clean economy. How we work with youth beginning when they are our youngest citizens in Kindergarten and support them through to post-graduate employment; as they learn about and explore the roles that they can play in the clean growth economy.
From The Ground Up: Indigenizing The Reconciliation Process In EE Join us for a facilitated, interactive discussion about cultural safety, partnerships, barriers, self-learning, and re-creating and indigenizing environmental education. Hear from planners and participants in EECOM’s reconciliation-focused Leadership Circle.  Share your experiences of processes and practices that encourage meaningful, open dialogue.  We particularly welcome Indigenous participants!
Fun Environmental Activities in Your Schoolyard! We will highlight a variety of resources to help you deepen students’ connections with nature and environmental stewardship. We’ll profile a variety of activities that you can do with your students in your schoolyard. You’ll learn by doing these activities and discuss how to connect student learning with their community.
Getting Little Feet WET: Project WET’s Early Childhood Education Guide Get active in this hands-on, fun workshop! You will try sample activities specially adapted from Project WET for Pre-K to Grade 2 teachers. All participants completing the workshop receive a free hardcopy of the 2018, full-colour, 59 page ECE Activity Guide, Getting Little Feet Wet.
Going Inside-Out:  A year of place-based cross-curricular learning Ever wondered how a weekly year-long initiative to connect students with their place could create powerful cross-curricular learning, a tremendous classroom culture, and result in students walking through swamps, mathematically exploring waist-deep snow, becoming citizen scientists, and sharing mountain-top slam poetry?
Growing Environmental & Sustainability Education in Teacher Education Programs across Canada This session shares the work of an innovative network of teacher educators who are growing Environmental & Sustainability Education (ESE) in teacher education.  EECOM’s Standing Committee on ESE in Teacher Education will summarize the results of their Research Roundtable, and share promising practices of faculties of education across the country.
Growing Up WILD Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them.  Join us to explore with the eyes of a 3-7 year old!
Having a Laugh? The role of humour in EE Are we allowed to laugh when it comes to serious environmental issues such as climate change? Most of us don’t want to undermine the severity of these issues, but humour plays an important role in the emotional side of EEC work. Let’s explore strategic use of humour in our work.
How can we move from Truth to Reconciliation in environmental education programming? Join colleagues to discuss how to move from truth to reconciliation using place-based environmental education programs. This session will be hosted by Students on Ice who will share their successes and challenges in their Arctic youth expeditions as the foundation for the conversation.
I Wonder Why I, They, We’re Doing This? This session is designed to promote place-based learning by mentoring educators in using the simple yet profound activity, the community or nature walk (the “I Wonder Walk”). Success stories and examples, within a prepared framework, will be shared as a tool for inspiring consistent and diverse experiences in a local natural place. The session will also encourage active participation through facilitated discussions to build a collaborative experience and enhance our collective community of practice.  The ‘framework’ presented was influenced from working with environmental inquiry teaching practices, AQAL leadership model, David Sobel’s Place-Based Education, and nature immersion pedagogy.
Igniting Children’s Passion for our Planet with Citizen Science Enter the world of Calgary’s Young Citizen Scientists by experiencing our successful school program firsthand. Enjoy games and activities that teach the importance of biodiversity and how to protect it. Strengthen your student’s connection to place by helping them notice, identify, and submit sightings to an existing citizen science platform.
Indigenous Youth Engaging in Water Science Education: Project WET 2.0 Get active in this hands-on, fun workshop! You will try sample activities from Project WET 2.0 with adaptations for Indigenous youth. All participants completing the workshop receive a free copy of the 80-page, Project WET 2.0 Sampler Activity Guide
Inspiration for Place-based, Experiential Education…from the Yukon! An overview of the innovative and progressive place-based, experiential and First Nations-oriented school and informal programs in the Yukon. Come get some ideas and inspiration and commitment for projects and approaches in your region.
Inspiring Change: Psychology for a Sustainable World This hands-on workshop challenges the frequent educational assumption that new knowledge, well presented, will inspire change. Reflective and interactive activities will help participants explore the power of concepts such as role modeling, social norms, framing, context, community-building, values and identity in inspiring change in their personal and educational contexts.
Interpreting Climate Change: Teaching Workshop In this workshop teachers and educators will be led through a new series of lesson plans connecting climate change to biodiversity,and society & the economy. Geared towards Grades 7-11, participants will model some of the lessons to help teach their students about climate change’s impacts in Canada.
Invasive Species Education: Hands-on Learning Opportunities for Engagement and Action This workshop focuses on key subject areas and learning outcomes that explore ecosystems, biodiversity, and the impacts of invasive species on communities and cultures. After a brief overview of invasive species, participants will gain hands-on experience with activities to bring back to their classrooms.
Knook Books – A field guide Based on a Ktunaxa ethnobotany field guide, children created field guides of our local trees and berries. Walk with us as we explore the bits and pieces that make up an inquiry project. We will honour student voice, and embed Ktunaxa perspectives deliberately and respectfully.
Kootenay-Boundary School Districts: Environmental Education Collaboration Our session tells the story of six school districts in the Kootenay-Boundary region of BC who are collaborating to integrate practice to support students’ understanding of their local environment and empower thoughtful action through learning that is outdoor, experiential, place-based and place-conscious.
Ktunaxa Interpretive Center Workshop This session will help to ground conference participants in the history and context of the St. Eugene site, Ktunaxa history and people through a site and interpretive center, and documentary.
Leading Students in the Field and the Outdoor Council of Canada Using hands on activities from the nationally recognized Outdoor Council of Canada’s Field Leader course, participants will share outdoor experiences, goals and best practices. The group will reflect on motivations for leading groups outdoors, discover more about what makes an effective outdoor leader and how to plan safe outdoor events.
Learning Naturally Grounded in the rhythms of the natural world, Forest Play is a successful outdoor afterschool program in Canmore.  This experiential session will give you a taste of what participating in the program is like, complete with storytelling, games, sensory activities and wilderness skills.  You will also peel
Learning through Play, Nature Games Learn ways that you can put your curriculum into game form! By incorporating structured, theme-based games into your class you can help promote learning and get your kids up and active, physically applying the ideas you teach.
Local MakerSpaces: Building Renewable Energy Technologies to Power the Future Participants will build a solar oven and actually cook traditional foods (weather dependant), all while learning about how to engage students in learning about renewable energy technologies, and how they can contribute to their community’s resilience and sustainability.
Make Your Map: Bioregional Mapping of Place Attachment This project has participants artistically design maps to tell the stories of their special places, and what values helped form place attachment. Discuss what values and experience form place attachment, and leave with examples of activities which can be used to inspire connection to place, including hosting a mapmaking workshop.
Microfinance: Financial Literacy with an Environmental Twist In this interactive session, participants will learn about the importance of integrating concepts of sustainability and financial literacy. Participants will explore how to engage learners in simulation activities in which they learn about loans and interest, while addressing issues like poverty and community resilience, by lending funds to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Natural Curiosity: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s EE Participants will engage in an inquiry process around the following questions: How do Indigenous perspectives relate to environmental education? How might they enhance educators’ understanding over time as they explore environmental inquiry? What Indigenous perspectives apply to all of us, and can these be supported ethically in any learning environment?
On the ground: how certified EcoSchools make space for place-based learning Ontario EcoSchools provides a rich and varied access point to place-based learning. This workshop shares real-life stories from certified schools and highlights successful campaigns that enhance community connections. Session participants will have the opportunity to create an environmental campaign to bring back to their school community.
Orientation to the Earth and Our Indigenous Worldview and Philosophy Gain understanding of the First People’s basic worldview and philosophy of life . Learn how to imbed this philosophy and worldview into your Environmental Education classes and how to help your students connect to the Land when you are a non-Indigenous Educator
Our Shared Path Are you interested in exploring the rich world of community-based education projects?  This lively and interactive session will include examples of best-practices and approaches to avoid common pitfalls. You will leave with a plan to inspire support for and contribute to the success of your next initiative!
Our work to advance education around energy conservation, efficiency, and renewables In early 2018 we launched an Alberta program to galvanize education around energy conservation, efficiency, and renewables. We’ll share our approach, findings, and accomplishments to date; model a couple of fun activities that engage students; and invite participants to consider how these ideas might apply to their work.
Pedagogies of Place: The Teaching and Learning of Place Based Education in an Undergraduate Education Program. Join us to learn how the unique Pedagogies of Place course offered in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan challenges teacher candidates to engage their students in critical place-based environmental learning. Themes and strategies that analyze the places we teach and learn will be explored outdoors.
Perspectives on Safety in Outdoor Learning This is a presentation designed for teachers who are at the early stages of implementing nature-based education. We will cover risk management policies and resources that exists across Canada, and emphasize the need for protocol by reviewing liability, new stories, and related literature.
Philosophies of Stewardship The way humans relate to nature has changed over time due to varying environmental philosophies. We will explore the last one hundred years of stewardship in Jasper National Park to examine shifts in human-nature relationships.This hands-on activity explores our relationship with nature.
Place-Based Education & BC’s New Curriculum This session features an interactive discussion about place-based learning and its relevance in BC’s new curriculum, including connections to the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning. How can we facilitate more experiential, inquiry-based, environmental & place-based education in all subject areas and grade levels?
Pre-Engagement Ethics for Research with Indigenous Peoples As support for the inclusion of Indigenous peoples knowledges into education based curriculum is becoming “mainstreamed” the manner in which this will be undertaken is cause for consideration. This workshop presents principles for engagement as well as provides examples of how to work towards reconciliation in a sustainable beneficial manner.
Re-imagining Environmental Education as Artistic Practice This session explores the potential of art education to increase the power and reach of environmental learning in K-12 classrooms, community settings, and teacher education programs. It advocates for the inclusion of creativity, imagination, and aesthetics as powerful pedagogical tools for educators to contribute towards positive environmental change.
Re-imagining Relations: Holistic Approaches to Mapping the Land Colonization and therefore decolonizing, is centrally about how relationships with land are mapped physically and in our imaginations. In this outdoor session, we connect two aspects of imagining land relationship: teaching of holism we have permission to share and experiential story mapping which we will explore on the land.
Research on Forest School programs across the country In this session, participants will hear about a recent survey research project that aimed to explore Canadian forest school programs from the perspective of administrators and educators. Results shed light on how Canadian programs are operating, challenges to starting new programs and observed benefits to the children enrolled.
Responding to the Uncertainty of Climate Change – Teaching Resources This session focuses on how educators can engage the local context for learning about climate change. We will review current resources that support teachers to practice local and transformative approaches to climate change learning; specifically, focusing on Connecting the Dots, Teaching Teens about Climate Change, and Resources for Rethinking.
Shifting the System with Widening Points of View A dynamic experiential process designed by Joanna Macy, adapted to articulate and transform the systemic challenges blocking the widespread uptake of socio-ecological, integrated, place-based, authentic, critical thinking, emotionally engaged, imaginative, holistic, environmental education in today’s public-school system. Hear from other educators, more-than-human and future voices who are ready for change!
Students Connecting to Natural Environments through Inquiry and Curiosity Three key questions, “I Know, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of…”, provide a framework for students’ exploration of the natural world. Through a field activity, we explore resources supporting outdoor/experiential learning from the BEETLES project; developed at The Lawrence Hall of Science (affiliated with University of California – Berkeley.
Success Stories in SD20 – Bridges and Barriers to Place Based Learning Bridges and barriers to forming collaborative relationships with community educators in your School District. Empowering teachers to reach out and form a connection with experts in a way that informs and enriches learning for your students.
Supporting educators in developing place-conscious practices: A campus-community partnership Join us as we share the story of our campus-community partnership, and the unique teaching and learning that occurs within our Masters program that supports practicing teachers in developing place-conscious educative practices. We will provide experiential opportunities for participation through the sharing of rituals, stories, teachings, and traditional practices.
The Power of Digital and Social Media on Student Engagement Join staff from the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie as we discuss the ways in which we are using social media to create a digital community with the goal of strengthening our existing relationships inside the classroom and beyond. Both the successes and failures of the project will be discussed.
The power of maps in environmental education Maps help us develop a sense of place in the world, but they can also mislead. They can be powerful tools in environmental education enabling discussions to flourish around topics such as eco-justice, ecology, ownership, treaties and land use/abuse. Most areas of the curriculum can be enhanced by their use.
The Story of Food (and the Food in Stories) This session investigates how children’s literature can be used in environmental education curricula to enhance the food literacy of young learners.
The Tmixw Project: Collaborative Place Sharing in Grades 4-7 Learn how the Interior Salish concept word of Tmixw (land, biodiversity, interconnectedness…) and camas became the foundation of a collaborative teaching and learning inquiry project.  Leave with lesson ideas and inspiration to connect students to place, infuse Indigenous ways of place-based learning over time, and across grades and subject areas.
Unpacking 5 Key Characteristics for Successful Community Engagement Do you want to create healthier communities for all with ecological integrity, shared prosperity, and social equity as long-term goals? This session will introduce Guidelines for Excellence: Community Engagement, a new resource that provides a framework and resources for successfully engaging and working with communities.
What does it take to get Environmental education content that is culturally relevant, language and place based, in a time of truth and reconciliation? The Aqam Language Authority will share their process of developing a Ktunaxa centred environmental education curriculum focussed upon lands and waters, according to our Creation Story, and with consideration for the impacts of Residential school upon the transmission of roles and responsibilities and relationships currently reflected in Environmental Education.
What Happens When No One is Here? Using Wildlife Cameras What happens in our special places when we aren’t around?  Who else uses the forest? How can we observe changes over time in natural communities? Learn how to use wildlife cameras with students during this hands-on walking workshop. Participants will have an opportunity to set up and use wildlife cameras.
When Peter Rabbit Stepped on Pooh  Connecting Famous Children’s Characters to Place-Based Education Peter Rabbit to Winnie the Pooh to Anne of Green Gables just to name a few, bring the readers to place where nature, adventure, simplicity and friendship shape the childen’s imagination and values to social-emotional learning. Connecting children’s stories with placed based approaches to learning can shape a generation.
Where will you grow – exploring Green Jobs This session will focus on introducing PLT Canada’s new Green Jobs Unit – while also bringing in highlights of summer green job placements from students themselves. The Green Jobs Unit provides youth leaders with activities and resources to discuss green careers.
Will the magic still be there? Outcomes of a teachers’ gradual release process for implementing nature-based learning This session discusses the outcomes of a three-year, collaborative nature-based learning study, focusing specifically on administrators’, teachers’ and early childhood educators’ experiences with a gradual release process and the role of a community of practice and community partners for developing capacity within a district for nature-based environmental education.