“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it”. David Sobel, through this course I believe that Audrey has taken us all back to a time where we loved the earth through hands on experiences, and through our own led discoveries. She has led us in our own inquiry processes through every aspect of the course where our Euro Western ways of knowing was disrupted without even noticing. It was until looking at the course as I discovered how she has taken us through story telling of personal stories, hearing stories through classmates, and reading about the stories through Braiding Sweetgrass that took us to love and appreciate the offerings that the land has for us. I truly enjoyed reading the stories within Braiding Sweetgrass because of the love and emotion that Robin Wall Kimmerer was able to share with her students, children, and with us ultimately.
She shared with us the discovery of whiteness in every aspect of environmental education that we have experienced to disrupt it from re-occurring over time through us as teachers. Our eyes were opened and we were able to see with two eyes the various teaching strategies that we can use in our future careers and to explore the environment through our students. “all education is environmental education… by what is included or excluded, students are taught that they are part of or apart from the natural world” David Orr, through this course we learnt that we are all a part of nature, and rediscovering our love of nature and the environment we were able to learn and deepen our understanding of the environment and how we can reciprocate with the environment.
Also, Robin Wall Kimmerer shared “The ultimate reciprocity, loving and being loved in return.” – Pg. 123 I believe that us learning to love the land again, we can pass our love of the land on to our students in future years. Before I went back through all of the slide show presentation and all of our assigned blog post I was unaware of the hidden curriculum that Audrey shared throughout this course that the ultimate goal was for us to learn to love the land and to get out of Euro Western ways of being that adults can’t “get dirty” and to experience and have fun with our learning. “In the process of decolonization and re-inhabitation, I believe it is also important for one to unlearn the oppressive and/or privileged narrative that informs one’s sense of identity. At the same time, we need to relearn and reclaim who we are as humans” (p. 8) This is also true for the growing of my knowledge, I have had to unlearn and let go of many ways of my knowing and learn to grow and accept other ways of teaching. I also have had to instill a lot of trust into Audrey to stop myself from getting worked up and overwhelmed on this journey. The journey is as important as the product, and my journey is just beginning with these knew ways of knowing. I am in no way transformed, this takes time but this course has opened my eyes to a variety of teachings and knowing’s.
Another thing that I have enjoyed through this semester is practicing stillness it has really made me feel even more connected to the land below me, the air and sky above me and the world around me.
Something that I also noticed within my blogs is the love and appreciation that I have to the environment and had as a child but because of the whitewash of the teaching we were never taught about the location or the land that we were in. All my blogs also have an over arching love and appreciation that I have with the land that I include in my stories that I share. I have big dreams on becoming more Eco literate and that is a process that will in no doubt take a lot of learning and changes taking place.