At the Surrey Nature Centre the City of Surrey is giving K-12 outdoor education a boost with workshop training programs geared towards equipping new teachers. These professional development workshops aim to equip teachers with the confidence and knowledge skills to lead lessons beyond the classroom walls. “In many ways the classroom is the community, the classroom is right outside the door – it might be a 100 meter field trip,” says Patrick Robertson, City of Surrey Workshop Facilitator.
“In many ways the classroom is the community, the classroom is right outside the door – it might be a 100 meter field trip,” says Patrick Robertson, City of Surrey Workshop Facilitator.
The goal of the workshops is to encourage teachers to take advantage of the creative lesson planning space created by British Columbia’s New Curriculum. “We’re really training the trainers… that’s really building up the teachers’ confidence and knowledge skill to go back and take their kids out into the school yard or out into a park nearby,” says Leah Zia, Parks Operations Coordinator, Surrey Nature Centre.
The New Curriculum promotes place-based learning in the students’ own backyard. There, engagement in unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature and art seeks to create connection and assign value to the place. Surrey Nature Centre’s workshops look to specifically engage students in environmental learning. The hope is that students will form a connection to their natural environment at a young age, find value and care in preserving the natural resource.
A longtime pioneer and leader in outdoor education, the City of Surrey’s Surrey Nature Centre has worked in collaboration with Metro Vancouver’s School Programs team, WildBC and the Environmental Educator’s of BC (EEPSA) in delivering workshops to teachers from throughout the region.
For more information visit Metro Vancouver School Programs page.