ESCI 310 Day 3 January 12

The 4 Branches – Branch I : Inquiry and Engagement/Nurturing a Sense of Wonder – Strong Sense of Spirituality/ Lighting the Fire

Dear Journal,

One of the main things I’m learning in ECSI 310 is environmental inquiry. Envirnmental Inquiry, to put it in my own words, is method to where inquiry involves a process of investigating the natural or physical world (the environment), which leads to questions, findings, and testing of those discoveries in the pursuit of new understanding (to you).

According to Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition, the textbook my class is reading, there are four branches to environmental inquiry: Branch I – Inquiry and Engagement, Branch II – Experiential Learning, Branch III – Integrated Learning, and Branch IV – Moving Toward Sustainability.

Today my class explored the first branch of of Environmental Inquiry (left column). Branch I is Inquiry and Engagement. I understand that Inquiry and Engagement, as of right now, means getting kids (and adults) curious and encouraging them to ask questions about anything.

Second thing I’m learning is that for every branch of Environmental Inquiry there is a near equivalent Indigenous perspective. For example, Branch I – Inquiry and Engagement its near equivalent is “Strong sense of Spirituality” / “Lighting the Fire.”

Table 1: Relating Indigenous Perspectives to Natural Curiosity
Preface to

Indigenous PerspectiveNatural Curiosity
Strong sense of spiritualityBranch I – Inquiry and Engagement
Deeply rooted in placeBranch II – Experiential Learningt
Recognition that everything
is related
Branch III – Integrated Learning
Emphasis on reciprocityBranch IV – Moving Toward
Anderson, D., Comay, J. & Chiarotto, L. (2017). Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition – A resource for educators: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2643-8 (print) OR 978-0-7727-2644-5 (Electronic)

Since my class is learning about inquiry and engagement what better way to learn the concept than to experience it ourselves. The Prof decides that the class is going to learn about worms through vermicomposting.

Subject: Life Science Subject: Red Wrigglers

Inquiry Activity Reviewing period knowledge about worms and generating questions about Red Wigglers

As a class we discussed what we knew about worms then created questions that we wanted to know about Red Wrigglers (We are lighting our fire, nurturing our sense of wonder in ourselves and each other). After that the Prof categorized our questions into same-ish topic groups. My group had questions pertaining to the physical characteristics of Red Wrigglesr. Each group had to research the questions and to the best of their ability try to find an answer (or construct an answer if there was no conclusive evidence). Next each group had to create a poster for their group of questions.

The Prof stated that as we learn environmental inquiry through doing inquiry, to also think from the perspective of a teacher. The Prof stated that today the plan was to finish the activity by sharing/presenting out posters to our classmates but the class ran out of time.

NOTE: Role of Teacher: POV: resists wanting to rush learning, even though you probably won’t finish lesson plan. You must learn how to readjust your lesson plans.

– Richelle

Course Inquiry Questions: 
- How can inquiry pedagogies guide science learning?
- How can inquiry frameworks inform instructional approaches for science education?

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Teacher in training.

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