Designing Environmental Learning in, for and about Átl’ka7tsem (Howe Sound)

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: David Zandvliet, Faculty of Education

Project team: Patricia Plackett, Beedie School of Business, Wes Nahanee, consultant

Timeframe: November 2020 to August 2021

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: EDUC 452 – Environmental Education

Description: For this project, we will develop/compile course materials (multimedia, and print resources) in a hybrid model that leverages the social and natural resources of the Átl’ka7tseam/Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative (HSBRI). Specific attention will be given to educational resources that highlight Indigenous pedagogy and Indigenous knowledge for environmental learning. This will involve both the design and development of a prototype Canvas shell in tandem with curated resources that we will develop and test during summer 2021.
    The intended users of the educational resources and pedagogical strategies will be pre-service and in-service teachers and informal educators working in proximity to the Howe Sound BRI who are enrolled in this offering of the course. In addition (where possible) we will gather feedback from involved community stakeholders as to the course activities and intended learning outcomes. These data will be used to inform future iterations in the course design and learning materials.

Questions addressed:

  • How can educators working in BC begin to decolonize their teaching practices in the K-12 system? In the informal education system (e.g. in museums or aquaria)?
  • What are the important connections made between Biodiversity and Culture in the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region?
  • What are the unique features of Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound that contribute to its potential as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Region) in Canada?

Knowledge sharing: Intellectual property for course resources and media will remain the property of the local knowledge holders including members of the Squamish Nation and other stakeholders related to the Átl’ka7tsem (Howe Sound) Biosphere Reserve Initiative. Project results will be shared through internal conferences that focus on the improvement of teaching and learning as well as with the other eighteen UNESCO Biosphere Regions in Canada, including two others in BC (Clayoquot and Mount Arrowsmith). I also hope to engage our Faculty’s Indigenous Education and Reconciliation Council (IERC) in these efforts. Further, through the project’s relationship with SFU’s Institute for Environmental Learning (a UN chartered RCE on ESD), we will also share our approach to course development with other BC Post-secondary institutions and other RCEs in the UN University global network.