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Environmental and Sustainability Education

OISE’s Environmental
Learning Circle 

The Environmental Learning Circle is a discussion and action group for OISE students interested in deepening their knowledge in and experience with Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE).  It is a great way to meet other students with an interest in this area; get info about upcoming ESE events and programs; gain access to ESE resources; and network with faculty working in this area.  As part of the EL Circle, you can work towards the Environmental Leadership Award, a special designation showing dedicated learning in ESE as part of your OISE education. 

You can join the EL Circle without committing to do the EL Award; attendance at meetings is optional, but can count towards your Award hours (see below). 

To join the EL Circle:  Attend an ELC meeting (dates below)

Faculty Contact:  Hilary Inwood

2019-20 Meetings: These are now complete & will begin again in Sept 2020. 

View more info on ESE Events

Environmental Leadership Award

The EL Award offers OISE students a way to deepen their learning about ESE. It offers special recognition of our students' commitment to and learning in this area while at OISE, and we hope offers an edge when applying for teaching positions as ESE is an area of focus for many school boards today. It aims to contribute to the development of the next generation of EcoSchool leaders, as well as contribute trained educators to work in community-based organizations with an environmental agenda.

Cost: None! This award is a voluntary undertaking for OISE students; there is no extra cost for it, but there is a commitment above the normal requirements for your degree. The program of learning to support this award is co-ordinated by the ESE Infusion Initiative. 

Timing:  You can start to work towards the EL Award at any time during the academic year.  For those enrolled in two year programs, you have two years to complete it.  All paperwork to demonstrate completion of the award must be submitted by April 27, 2020.  EL Awards are given in May each year and recognized at a ceremony in June.

Coordinator:  Hilary Inwood

Environmental Leadership Recipients

Click here to for names of previous recipients of the ELC.

Environmental Leadership Award Components:

Teacher candidates are required to complete all of the four components to achieve OISE’s Environmental Leadership Award:

1. ESE Conference Component
Each year OISE partners with the TDSB to offer a one-day conference focused on ESE; this year the date for this conference is Sat. October 26, 2019.  The conference is free to OISE students.  Attend the conference, the keynote(s) and at least two workshops to complete this component.

2. ESE Events Component
Attend a minimum of five co-curricular learning events focused on ESE while at OISE. These can include workshops, talks, lectures, field trips, the ELC meetings, or other events. Click here for a listing of what is taking place this term. 

3. Service Learning Component
Demonstrate leadership in ESE by volunteering for and participating in ESE activities, events, research projects or initiatives at OISE, in your practicum school, or in a community organization. These can include (but are not limited to) working with a school's Green Team/Eco-Club; doing an ESE-related Internship; volunteering for ESE projects at OISE; or teaching ESE lessons during your practicum.  Teacher candidates must provide evidence of completion by having a host teacher or host organization sign off on your hours. A minimum of 20 hours of service learning must be completed for the Award. We have a range of possible service learning sites and partners (for suggestions email us at oise.ese@utoronto.ca) but you are also welcome to set up your own service learning component. 

4. Reflection Component
Write a one page reflection of your learning in ESE as the last component of the work towards the EL Award.  This can describe and analyze what you have learned as you have worked your way through the first three components, reflect on the benefits and challenges of your service learning work, articulate questions you have about the practices in ESE you've learned about, and/or identify what you'd like to do with your learning in ESE moving forward.  This is submitted as part of your application for the EL Award.

To begin working towards the EL Award: Begin this at your convenience; there is no specific deadline or application to begin.

To complete the EL Award: Please fill out the form found here to signal your completion, and get the necessary signatures to provide evidence of your completion of each component. (Note that OISE events do not require a signature as you sign in for attendance.) Send the completed form to oise.ese@utoronto.ca; once approved, your certificate will be issued in May 2020.  This form must be submitted by April 27, 2020 to qualify for this year's Award.

Questions: Check our FAQ list first.  If you still have questions, email oise.ese@utoronto.ca