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Environmental and Sustainability Education

OISE & TDSB Collaboration in ESE

In October 2017, the TDSB Sustainability Office and its EcoSchools Program began a new collaboration with the Environmental & Sustainability Education (ESE) Initiative at OISE. Working in partnership, their goal was to deepen professional learning for TDSB teachers and OISE students in ESE to centre education's role in leading the cultural shifts needed to ensure a sustainable, equitible and just world. Since that time, an active, year-round program has been developed, including 20+ annual learning events (workshops, talks and webinars); an annual EcoSchools conference and EcoFair; a year end EcoSchools celebration, and a PLC that supports Action Research projects in ESE in K-12 classrooms. Programs and research explore a wide range of topics, from nature-based inquiry to food literacy, from waste education to climate justice.

This innovative collaboration supports professional learning in ESE for both TDSB teachers and OISE teacher candidates (TCs) by integrating learning of preservice educators with inservice educators. TDSB teachers benefit by being able to access year-round programming in ESE to enhance their classroom practice; identify TCs who can help support ESE in their classrooms; and deepen their mentoring and leadership skills. The collaboration also provides enhanced opportunities for OISE TCs to learn from and collaborate with TDSB teachers, resulting in enriching their learning in ESE through hands-on work opportunities, practicum placements, and networking opportunities in certified EcoSchools. No similar program on this scale exists in North America, offering both the TDSB and OISE a unique opportunity to contribute to a new vision for integrated preservice and professional learning in ESE.

For more infomation on this collaboration, and the research study that runs in conjunction with it, please refer to this recent article in the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education.

More info on the recent ESE conference and past ESE conferences.

More info on the TDSB-OISE Action Research Team in ESE.