“Seeing” Nature

Written by Kirstin Anglea
    Tuesday, 28 April 2015
“Seeing” Nature

I was asked recently, “What is your philosophy of education?” This is a question I’ve explored many times throughout my years as an educator. Depending on the crowd, my answer brought warm smiles or a furrowed brow as some consider my philosophy a bit “dreamy” in this data-driven, standards-based era of education.

To me, a meaningful education is a journey of discovery, exploring the mystery and the magic of the world around us and within us. I had the joy of witnessing this outward and inward journey recently while observing two of our talented environmental educators in action.

One day, midst melting snow and muck, a group of young teenagers with visual impairments were exploring our woodlands, hearing a history of the area’s settlers and tasting the running sap of a maple tree. With a little encouragement they began to climb the grand trunk of a fallen oak. Cautiously, each teen inched along the tree’s trunk and sprawling limbs. Smiles widened as they gained confidence in themselves and trust in the outstretched arms of support. One student, completely blind, ascended the fallen trunk with walking stick in hand! Laughter and words of encouragement were all you heard from the adults and classmates nearby.

These kids were as eager and able as those with clear vision to explore the natural world. This sunny day in the park allowed them to discover the mystery of maple sugaring and a magic within that propelled them past perceived barriers to discover and play in the woods.

I feel honored to work with educators who help kids see a world of possibility, outwardly and within.

Kirstin Anglea

Kirstin Anglea

Environmental Education Manager Kirstin Anglea achieved her Doctor of Leadership in the Advancement of Learning and Service at Cardinal Stritch, where her thesis focused on reflective inquiry as professional development for teachers.  She is certified as a Director of Instruction/Principal and is also certified in elementary education for K-8. She also is a trained facilitator with the national organization the Center for Courage and Renewal.


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