Leaders emerge from across the Columbia Basin

 In News

In southeast British Columbia there has been an emergence of effective systemic leadership model for supporting environmental education in the K-12 school system.

In April, for the 6th year in a row, forty educator leaders were brought together at Nipika Mountain Resort for a leadership clinic to encourage environmental stewardship and sustainability by supporting educators. Hosted by the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), the aim of the 2019 Environmental Education Leadership Clinic was to bring together all of the region’s local chapters of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA).

Natasha Burgess of Rocky Mountain School District 6 shared that “The Leadership Clinic was the perfect opportunity for our team to come together and share ideas, inspiration and action plans. As a district that is quite spread out, we rarely have the opportunity to gather and share the success stories taking place in different zones. We were refuelled with the time and space to collaborate and generate new ideas to bring back to our district.”

CBEEN began hosting leadership clinics in 2014, coinciding with the redesign of BC’s K-12 curriculum and the emphasis on place-based, community-based and environmental learning. At this point CBEEN began to take intentional steps to distribute leadership. Over the years, many new programs and initiatives have emerged across the region and beyond. Included in this are the provincial Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Network Society which promotes place-based learning in British Columbia and the Kootenay Boundary Environmental Education (KBEE) Initiative, which supports teachers to better undertake and deepen outdoor and environmental learning.

CBEEN Executive Director, Duncan Whittick, reflects that “We know that environmental education is a powerful tool for supporting deeper learning, and research continues to show that as an interdisciplinary approach, not does it support resilience and sustainability in our communities, but it also improves academic performance, emotional and social skills, motivation and engagement. The Leadership Clinic really helps us to bring together emerging leaders to find ways to better support the delivery of these benefits to students.”

This annual leadership clinic is supported by all school districts in the Columbia Basin, as well as the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, Columbia Basin Trust, Nipika Mountain Resort, and Kicking Horse Coffee.

For more information, including photos and videos, go to: https://cbeen.ca/leadership/

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