TDSB-OISE Action Research Team
Part of the collaboration between OISE's Sustainability & Climate Action Network (SCAN) and the TDSB Sustainability Office, begun in the fall of 2017, is to add to the field of ESE research, with a particular focus on the experiences and impacts of preservice and inservice professional learning for teachers, as well as on practitioner-led research into ESE. The latter focuses on Action Research in TDSB classrooms to cultivate promising practices in ESE across the school board.
Beginning in the winter of 2018, an Action Research team was formed to support an ongoing Professional Learning Community in ESE. The team was formed by those who had completed their Specialist Qualification in ESE, and those who already had research projects in this field. A review of the related research literature showed that as of 2020, this was the only Action Research team focused on ESE of this size operating in a Canadian school board; it was also one of a very few groups of teacher-researchers focused on ESE in the world.
Over the last three years, these teachers-researchers have risen to the challenge of becoming leaders in EE in addition to their regular classroom duties. They have investigated a range of research topics, from exploring teachers’ pedagogy for water education and waste education, nature-based loose parts play, citizen science, and integrating Indigenous education with ESE. They have shared their research findings through conference presentations, research publications, after-school workshops, and EcoSchools tours of their schools. They are also helping to educate the next generation of EcoSchools teachers supporting OISE students in practicum placements.
Team Members: Patricia Heinbein, Jennifer Venalainen, Adrienne Rigler, Elizabeth Pasternak, Gigi Shanks, Bonnie Mullrooney, Rebecca Chahine, Hongliang Hu, Rebeka Ly, Elaine Hofer, Jessie Sawyer, Amanda Humphreys, Catherine Kurucz, Linda Ryan, Pam Miller, Alysse Kennedy, Hilary Inwood.
Webinars & Presentations
- How Environmental Education can Contribute to a ‘Just’ Recovery - Pam Miller, Jenn Vetter, Chris Metropolis
- Eco-Teaching & E-Learning - Rebecca Chahine, Nancy Gillis, Bonnie Mullrooney, Patricia Heibein, Adrienne Rigler and Marion (Gigi) Shanks
- Reconnecting With Nature: Action Research On Nature-Based Learning in The Kindergarten Program - Hongliang Hu and Patricia Heinbein
- Adventures in Citizen Science - Catherine Kurucz and Linda Ryan
- Natural Collaborations: Exploring Teachers' Action Research into Environmental Education - Hilary Inwood, Catherine Kurucz, Adrienne Rigler, Linda Ryan, and Hongliang Hu
- Beautiful Ecology: Deepening Connection to Place - Amanda Humphreys and Jessie Sawyers
- Nuturing Local Water Education - Adrienne Rigler and Marion (Gigi) Shanks
Rethinking nature journaling in the Kindergarten Program action research in learning and teaching. Journal of Outdoor & Environmental Education, 2022.
Growing Action Research on Environmental Learning in Schools: A School-University Partnership. Educational Action Research, 2021
Beautiful Ecologies: Deepening Connection. Innovations in Early Education: The International Emilio Reggio Exchange, 2021
Certified Green: The TDSB’s EcoSchools Program is growing into a national school movement. Education Canada, 60(1), 2020
Creating a Climate of Change: Professional Development in Environmental and Sustainability Education through University and School Board Partnerships. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 23(1), 2020