Partnerships with post-secondary institutions have been instrumental in providing high-quality professional development for District educators on some of the most pressing sustainability issues.
The University of British Columbia's Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) research group currently partners with the District to compile classroom-based resources to engage secondary school students in environmental issues.
The research group collaborates with District educators to develop lesson plans on popular current issues from climate change to renewable energy and urban forestry. One project, called Coolkit, sees students explore their school's neighbourhood to identify factors that may impact climate change, such as the number of green spaces or the presence of cycling infrastructure.
"Coolkit activities allowed my students to step into an active role as scientists in their own neighbourhoods. As they analyzed and compared neighbourhood plans, they were excited to present their findings and recommendations," says Samsara Marriott, teacher at Norma Rose Point Elementary.
"This opportunity to work with UBC researchers is hugely useful for me to learn more about resources I can use with my students, and help make climate change relevant to the 'here and now' of what is happening in our own backyards," adds Marriott.
The District also partners with Simon Fraser University's Faculty of Education to offer a graduate diploma in Place and Nature-based Experiential Learning. The program is aimed at educators looking to deepen their understanding of urban environmental education.
The partnership contributes to the District's sustainability goal of students fostering a connection to the natural world, as it provides an educational opportunity for teachers to enhance their ability to take students out of the classroom and develop connections in the city and the community around them.
The work also aligns with the District's Strategic Plan 2021 goals to engage learners through innovative teaching and learning practices and create a culture of care and shared social responsibility.
By being committed to these cooperative efforts with post-secondary institutions that are based on a foundation of shared interests, the District further enriches student learning opportunities and enhances availability of educational experiences on sustainability for students from kindergarten – Grade 12.
Find out more about the District's Environmental Sustainability Plan.
Read about the District's Strategic Plan 2021.