Webinars Archive

Embracing the Shift 2021

In 2020, we brought you Natural Curiosity in the New Normal, a four-part conversation about getting outside and staying outside amid COVID-19. We highlighted an Indigenous lens on the current crisis in education, and invited educators to slow down and embrace the natural world as co-teacher. In our continuing series, Embracing the Shift: Sharing Our Pandemic Stories of Connecting to Land and Children’s Natural Curiosity, we hope to build on these foundational ideas, with more educator stories to further unpack the principles and practices laid out in Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition.

Natural Curiosity in the New Normal

This four-part webinar series has been designed to support you in your return to school during extraordinary times, so that you can enrich outdoor time with learning in all areas of curriculum, while building community with your students and safeguarding everyone’s health. Chi-miigwetch and thank you to those who joined the conversation – we look forward to supporting you again throughout 2021.

A group of adults listening to a guide in a forest.

Part 1

Educator Strategies for Getting and Staying Outside

25th August, 2020

In the first webinar of this series, we heard from recent award winners of Natural Curiosity’s Burtynsky Award for Teaching Excellence in Environmental Education: Jennifer Baron (Teacher at YRDSB) and Miriam Snell (Teacher at Tamarack West Outdoor School, as well as Jay Field, Principal at Tamarack West. 

An adult with short hair and pink shirt showing something in their hand to a group of children in a garden

Part 2

A COVID-look at the Indigenous Lens on Natural Curiosity

17th September, 2020

This webinar highlighted an Indigenous lens on the current crisis in education. Indigenous perspectives, as well as land-based learning and inquiry,  invited us to embrace the outdoors and our local environment with our speakers. Doug Anderson and Maria Vamvalis shared their knowledge and expertise in decolonizing pedagogy as we venture outdoors to protect the health and wellbeing of students and teachers.

Three children in coats shovelling the sand

Part 3

Grounding Virtual Learning in the Land and Relationship

6th October, 2020

In Part 3, we welcomed two educators from the York Region District School Board: Tanya Murray, Outdoor Experiential Learning Consultant, and Natasha Bascevan, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Consultant. In response to COVID, both Tanya and Natasha are now teaching in the virtual classroom. They shared their emerging strategies for continuing to cultivate community, natural curiosity, relationship, and reciprocity in a virtual classroom, and the strengths they bring to their learning communities. 

Three children digging and exploring the soil next to a tree

Part 4

Using School Grounds Effectively to Enrich Learning

12th November, 2020


In the final webinar of our four-part series, we welcome Julie Whitfield, principal at Humewood Public School, TDSB, Steve Smith, baseball coach at the Toronto Playgrounds, and Ticia Heibein, kindergarten teacher at Forest Hill, TDSB. In this webinar, we will highlight the school ground as the place for teaching and learning, through play and natural curiosity. We will consider the small brave steps that begin to implement these ideas, through free play, guided play and inquiry. We invite participants to reflect on their unique teaching circumstances, opportunities and strengths that they bring to their learning communities.