Land-Based Learning Professional Development Series

Land-based education has many different meanings and teachings. This series is intended to introduce pre-service teachers to conceptions, processes, and practices of land-based education, that honours land, and all that land encompasses (including trees, animals, waters, wind, sun, moon, among many other living relatives), as the first teacher in teaching and learning. Participants will be given opportunities to experience and imagine how they might engage emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical connections to the places they live, teach, and learn with in their practice. The series is meant to support learning in EDUC 530: Indigenous Education.

All three of these sessions will take place in-person on the UCalgary campus. We will meet in the atrium on the ground level between the Education tower and Education block. Sessions will occur rain or shine. Students should come prepared to be outside for the session. The sessions are intended to build on each other but can also be attended individually.  

What is Land-Based Learning?

September 15, 2021, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


September 22, 2021, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Land-based learning can mean many different things to different people. This session will introduce pre-service teachers to understandings of land-based learning that are based on respect, responsibility, reciprocity, and relationality and how these differ from Western views of land as a standing-reserve for human projects. 

There are two offerings of this session. They have the same content so you only need to attend one of the two options.

Building and Facilitating Land-based Learning Experiences

October 13, 2021 *new date*


Land-based learning is relational and holistic and can support educators and learners to be at home within an ecological web and deepen connections with all of life. This session is aimed at supporting pre-service teachers to consider the layered components of having and building experiences that honour life and living in their different disciplines and contexts.  

Wild Wellness for Educators

October 20, 5:00-6:30 pm

In partnership with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), this event will support pre-service teachers imagine how they might incorporate nature-based experiences into their practice. It will also expose pre-service teachers to the array of resources and supports available through CPAWS to encourage environmental stewardship.

Everyone from behavioural psychologists to environmental conservationists are providing proof that ‘time in nature’, or Vitamin N, is pivotal to whole health and well-being. As teachers, you've been told that everything from creativity to calmness, is cultivated by quality time spent amongst the trees, birds, creeks, and clouds. But where and how do you best transition students and curriculum into the great outdoors? What if it's cold or rainy? And, what if you're cranky? Southern Alberta’s Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has your back! Join CPAWS Environmental Educator Sheri Tarrington for a hands-on session of 'tried 'n tenacious', outdoor teaching practices, nature play and wide-eyed wonder—inspiration and rejuvenation await!

Working in Relation

October 27, 2021


Land-based learning involves considering how multiple relationships are in constant dialogue (relations to knowledge systems, to languages, to stories, to traditions, to land, water, birds, animals, trees, other more-than-human entities, to students, to self, to breath, among many others). This session will highlight the various relations that are always already present in many educational settings and offer a process for awakening and attending to these relations in ethical ways.