In the Spotlight: Natural Curiosity


Apr 2016


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Natural Curiosity is a resource for educators about Environmental Inquiry that was developed by the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (OISE/UofT). The resource supports educators in making the shift to Environmental Inquiry through a four-branch framework to learning and teaching that includes Inquiry-based Learning, Integrated Learning, Experiential Learning and Stewardship. This four-branch approach elicits students’ natural curiosity about the world and creates a classroom culture of learning that is purposeful, fun, productive, and responsive to students. When a student’s imagination is engaged, their learning naturally blossoms. When the same happens for an educator, their practice is transformed. Since its initial launch in 2011, the impact of the resource has been remarkable, gaining widespread adoption in schools, boards, and Ministries of Education across the country and internationally. Natural Curiosity has also been translated into French – both copies are available free to download at our website

We have learned that the first edition of Natural Curiosity begins to reflect Indigenous approaches to learning in significant ways. One Anishinaabe Elder – also a retired elementary school teacher – said, after reading the first edition, “I actually cried when I read it. I said to myself, they’re finally starting to get it!”

Photo3With support from TD Friends of the Environment, we have been inspired to create a second edition which highlights Indigenous perspectives to a greater and more meaningful extent. We invite educators to begin considering a journey into Environmental Inquiry that is increasingly informed by Indigenous knowledge. For more information about our second edition please visit our website.

Natural Curiosity, in partnership with Learning for a Sustainable Future, also offers institutes for educators of all grades who wish to explore how authentic inquiry is being applied to address expectations in social studies, science, language and other subjects. To learn more, or to register for one of our institutes, please visit