Storypark embraces nature pedagogy with integration of pioneering new “Environmental Kinship Guidelines”

Storypark embraces nature pedagogy with integration of pioneering new “Environmental Kinship Guidelines”

by Jason Roberts

May 17, 2022

Storypark, the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector’s leading pedagogical documentation, professional development and parent engagement platform has supported the creation of a pioneering new set of guidelines to help services to engage thoughtfully with the natural world.

 

The Environmental Kinship (EKI) Guide is described as a comprehensive holistic approach to teaching and learning about the natural world and provides both educators and families (of any level of experience) with concepts that they can consider and apply when working with nature and young children. 

 

“We are incredibly proud to have been included in this important initiative,” Peter Dixon, Storypark co-founder said. 

 

“We have been working with The Morton Arboretum for some time, and when Megan Gessler, the Director, asked me if we were interested in developing a specific nature-based curriculum for inclusion in Storypark we jumped at the opportunity.” 

 

“Fast forward 24 months and we have helped assemble a coalition of the world’s leading nature-based practitioners and experts, including renowned nature pedagogist Dr Claire Warden, Dr Anne Meade and Storypark’s very own professional learning and development expert Amanda Higgins, who have all collaborated and supported the release of this trailblazing guide.”

 

The Environmental Kinship Guide – a comprehensive nature based pedagogy support

 

With a very focused nature pedagogy lens The Environmental Kinship Guide is dedicated to creating opportunities where teaching and learning about all aspects of the natural world can take place. 

 

The underlying principle that drives the Guide is one of kinship whereby a deeper understanding and awareness that everything in the natural world is interrelated and that humans are a part of this as cohabiters is fostered. 

 

The Guide is designed to be:

 

  • Practical – It provides every day, pragmatic examples for educators and administrators alike to apply, through overarching nature-based pedagogy
  • Inclusive – It incorporates intentional practices from a variety of places, cultures, population densities, and communities
  • A means to encourage Community – It catalyses the creation of an international dialogue on fostering environmental kinship in the early years

 

“The lengths the authors have gone as a coalition to capture every voice in the creation of the EKI will help ensure the integrity of its objectives going forward,” Mr Dixon said. 

 

“In partnership with the World Forum of ECE, the authors have consulted with Indigenous groups from a variety of countries to ensure that the EKI was considerate and supportive of Indigenous concepts and practices.”

 

Storypark to integrate EKI into its platform alongside other key pedagogy features

 

The team at Storypark have confirmed that they will be fully integrating the EKI into their platform as a learning set that will be free of charge to anyone who uses Storypark. 

 

“We are constantly on the lookout to find and progress initiatives that support the early childhood education and care sector and the children and families we’re all in service to using new innovative and authentic ways,” Mr Dixon said. 

 

“The EKI initiative, similar to the launch of our Child Mode feature last year, encourages children’s agency and reflection as learners which is at the heart of everything that we do.”

 

To support the launch of the EKI, Storypark has created a Community of Practice on its platform to help people interested in nature-based pedagogy and practice to connect with the authors and their peers internationally. 

 

By encouraging connections and networking, Storypark aims to help practitioners share their inspiration and innovation as they progress their own nature-based practice – whatever that may look like in that context and country.

 

To learn more about the Storypark integration of the Environmental Kinship Guide click here

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