Post-secondary partners to unite early childhood education faculty, policy groups, and others from across Canada to discuss outdoor pedagogy in college ECE programs

By College Relations | April 5, 2023

ECE Conference

How does playing outdoors support children’s development and wellness? Why is outdoor play such a powerful conduit for learning? How can we advance curriculum in college programs to empower current and future early childhood educators (ECEs) to view outdoor play as an important part of the children’s day, in all kinds of weather? How are colleges integrating and advancing outdoor pedagogy in their ECE programs?

These and other questions will be explored during a unique virtual conference next month that will bring together early childhood education professionals and experts from across the country to discuss how and why outdoor pedagogy is vital for children and in contributing to creating healthy communities.

On May 10, 2023, Okanagan College, in collaboration with Bow Valley College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and New Brunswick Community College, and colleagues from the University of Fraser Valley will host a conference entitled Disruption and transformation: dancing through change in outdoor pedagogy

Attendees will have the opportunity to join workshops by leading ECE and outdoor play experts from across Canada. Keynote speaker Dr. Bob Henderson will share information on advancing Wild Pedagogies and why there is a need for changes in education

Dr. Henderson has many years teaching environmental education in the Kinesiology and Arts and Science Programs at McMaster University. He has also taught courses at Laurentian, Brock, the University of Alberta and Edinburgh. Dr. Henderson has a strong experiential and field studies focus to his practice and activity-centred learning in the classroom environment.

The conference is made possible thanks to a major investment by the Lawson Foundation for the Outdoor Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education: From Colleges to Communities research project with Okanagan College, focused on demonstrating a model of outdoor pedagogy practices, teaching, learning and mentoring that will create a shift in curriculum in post-secondary ECE programs and in community early learning and child care programs.

“We are so excited to bring together college ECE faculty and colleagues across the country to participate in this third annual conference aimed at collaboratively advancing outdoor pedagogy in College ECE programs,” says Dr. Beverlie Dietze, Director of Learning and Applied Research at Okanagan College and project lead on the Lawson Foundation supported research project. “We are eagerly looking forward to the ideas, discussions, resources and action this conference will generate.”

To register for the conference, visit:

Tags: Learning and Applied Research, Early Childhood Education, Health and Social Development, Partnership



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