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Environmental Inquiry

In 2011, Natural Curiosity embarked on a project to create and disseminate an inquiry-based framework designed to enable classroom educators to meet Ministry expectations for infusing environmental education throughout the curriculum. A four-branch framework for environmental inquiry was introduced, dynamically combining inquiry-based learning, experiential learning, integrated learning, and stewardship. These theoretical orientations were brought vividly to life over the next eight years, as educators embraced the possibilities offered by this approach, and with their students, continued to find new ways to meaningfully and joyfully engage with the natural world.


In 2017, Natural Curiosity published an update: Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry. In the second edition, the four branches continue to provide the framework for environmental inquiry, with intriguing and substantive links to the views expressed through a newly expanded Indigenous lens. The Indigenous lens illuminates both marked continuities and evident disjunctions with Natural Curiosity’s approach to environmental inquiry. A humble evolution of the first, Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition signifies the starting point of an important conversation about learning in relationship with Mother Earth.

Natural Curioisty's symbol for Branch One

Branch I: Inquiry & Engagement


Indigenous Lens: Lighting the Fire

Natural Curioisty's symbol for Branch Two

Branch II: Experiential Learning


Indigenous Lens: Sending Out Roots

Natural Curioisty's symbol for Branch Three
Natural Curioisty's symbol for Branch Four

Branch III: Integrated Learning


Indigenous Lens: The Flow of Knowledge

Branch IV: Moving Towards Sustainability


Indigenous Lens: Breathing With The World

Symbols of four Indigenous lenses of environmental inquiry
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