TEACHING THE FOUR ELEMENTS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLCategory: 2017, Community Grant, Current, Grant, Land Use
Alberta Council for Environmental Education
Research shows that the primary predictor of a commitment to environmental causes in adulthood is time spent playing in nature as a child (Chawla 2007). It is this type of nature education that [email protected] advocates for. Getting kids outside, but then letting them follow their natural curiosity and learn through their playful version of the scientific method!
In ACEE’s efforts to build child-nature relationships, they have learned that many children fear natural elements. Even if allowed they choose NOT play in the dirt, go outside in the rain, or feel the wind on their face.
The teaching and learning tools ACEE proposes will connect children to Wind, Water, Earth and Fire. They also will begin the child-nature connection so critical to the student’s long-term appreciation and stewardship of all Landscapes.
These resources, instructional kits and teacher workshops are part of a larger culture shift in schools that will see schools in Parkland School Division and hopefully province wide, taking their provincially legislated Daily Physical Activity (DPA) outside, visiting a Nature Nearby location on a weekly basis and bringing natural elements back into their classrooms.
ACEE will measure changes in parent perception about what barriers to regular outdoor play exist for their children. A common answer to this question that we’re seeing in the initial surveys is FEAR. ACEE believes that making children, teachers and parents more comfortable with the four elements of Wind, Water, Earth and Fire, it will give them the confidence, curiosity and motivation to overcome this fear and reconnect with nature.