30 days of outdoor learning: April 3 – May 17 2019

The Walking Curriculum challenge ran from April 3, 2019 (National Walking Day) to May 17, 2019 this year. (Taking into account different school holidays etc.) Educators around the globe (preK through high school) took student learning outside for part of the day–rain or snow or shine–for 30 days.

With The Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder And Developing A Sense of Place as a resource and guide, outdoor learning involved engaging students in imagination- and inquiry-focused walks designed to enrich learning of the regular curriculum. Outdoor, walking-based learning fuelled cross-curricular activities students then pursued throughout the rest of their day.

Join the movement to #getoutside!

This page offered participants support for joining and successfully completing this challenge. Free resources, information for parents and more. Please continue to use them for outdoor learning!

$200 in Gift Card Donations from MEC Canada!

Four lucky teachers who took the walking curriculum challenge won a $50 gift card for Mountain Equipment Co-op merchandise. We are so thankful for this Grassroots Product Donation program from MEC Canada!

Winners

Congratulations to Lisa Wild, Amelia Dare, Shadia Khan, and Andrea DeTerra!

What is the Walking Curriculum?

Playgrounds and schoolyards are underused resources for ecological learning.

The Walking Curriculum is one example of an approach to teaching called Imaginative Ecological Education. This is a Place-based approach to education that affords learners opportunities to learn with/in the natural and cultural contexts where they go to school. What sets Walking Curriculum and other IEE activities apart are the use of tools (cognitive tools) that actively engage emotion and imagination in learning.  Basic premise: imagination fuels meaning-making.

Learn more: Walking Curriculum/IEE initiatives are currently being developed/led by Dr. Gillian Judson, Executive Director of the Centre for Imagination, Research and Culture at Simon Fraser University.

This resource is also available in FRENCH and SPANISH.

Why walk? Why take learning outside?

“The simple act of taking a walk—a walk with a curricular focus or purpose—can have multiple positive consequences. For example, walking can support students’ health and wellbeing. It can also emotionally and imaginatively engage learners by changing the “context” of learning. On a deeper level, a new level of curriculum relevance can emerge for students when learning occurs in real-world contexts. Going even deeper, walking-based practice can support students in developing a sense of Place. … Sense of Place is what can change how our students understand the world of which they are part—it can help them re-imagine their relationship with the natural and cultural communities they live in.”

~Gillian Judson, A Walking Curriculum (2018)

How Nature Inspires Art

A unique outcome of this month-long challenge is an article coming out soon in the journal for BC Art Teachers–Art & Ecology–featuring the art-based work of walking curriculum challengers.  Stay tuned! (Image via Kyla Cameron)

Resources to Support You

Click here to download an information letter for parents.

Try out these FREE teaching activities for K-12 from the Imaginative Ecological Education website. Of course, there are many different activities you can try with your students outside. Key: Engage their imaginations in learning and strive to create cross-curricular connections!

Share these graphics with your social media networks! Invite colleagues to #getoutside with the #walkingcurriculum for 30 days. (Drag/drop these images to your device.)

…and SHARE (pictures, plans, activities, insights) to our Digital Bulletin Board!

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Should we do another challenge? Get in touch!