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Environmental and Sustainability Education

Growing in New Directions: 

Knowledge-Building and Creativity


This mixed-media art installation was created in partnership with Grade 3 students at OISE's Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.  Created as part of the 'Take the Stairs' Campaign, it now hangs proudly in OISE's main stairwell, forming part of the walking art gallery that encourages the OISE community to take the stairs, rather than elevators (conserving energy and improving health and wellness of the walkers). 

This installation is a record of the knowledge-building process that the grade 3 students went through in their study of First Nations peoples in their social studies curriculum.  The Aboriginal Education Garden at OISE was the starting point; the class visited the garden in the fall of 2013 to learn about indigenous plant species and their roles in Aboriginal culture in Canada, and they made drawings of the plants in situ.  This led to learning about the importance of the four cardinal directions in First Nations cultures, and the deep connections between humans, wildlife, and other forms of life in nature.   Discussing the work of artists Christi Belcourt (Metis), Bill Reid (Haida), Jane Ash Poitras (Cree), and Carl Beam (Ojibwe) inspired the children to create their own multi-media artworks using paint, clay, photographic transfers, and poetry to share their learning about the cardinal directions with others.  A second ‘sister’ installation will be installed in the new wing of the Institute of Child Study.

Artists:  Grade 3 Students at OISE's Laboratory School

Collaborating Teachers:  Tara Rousseau, Art Teacher; Justine Grosman, Grade 3 Teacher, The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study; Jennifer Ford- Sharpe, OISE MA student; Hilary Inwood, Teacher Educator, OISE  

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