Learnings from land: a braided ecoportrait of meaning-full learning outdoors

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de Grandpré, Sylvie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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University of Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
In British Columbia (BC), educators are increasingly interested in learning outdoors, learning in place. However, place is a colonized space. Educators, then, must reassess their relationships and habits regarding place, Indigenous knowledges, stories, and histories, and confront their own deeply ingrained colonial-isms. Constructed on Styres' (2017) assertion that anyone can develop a reflexive relationship with Land, this doctoral thesis asks: In what ways does Land inform educators’ own learning, relationships, and professional practice, while working and living on ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa? Listening and learning with relationships –human and more-than-humans– encompassed in Land is achieved through the methodology of ecoportraiture. Braided ecoportraits highlight experiences from a middle school Outdoor Program (OP), the 2020 pandemic, and connections in the forest. They offer differentiated perspectives relating to practice, identity, and place, which inform teaching but, as Styres (2017) stresses, shift the way “we think about and do education” (p. 195).
Outdoor learning , Indigenous thoughts , Ecoportraiture , Middle school education , Elementary education