The Full Story
What does it mean to be rooted in place? How do we develop an authentic relationship with the natural world within the current education structure and lifestyle paradigm? How can we as life-long learners integrate the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning in a meaningful way that is founded on humility, patience, respect, and collaboration? How can we best serve the Earth and all its beings (including humans) to ensure a healthy future that celebrates interconnectedness of all? DV8 Education strives to play an active role in answering these questions.
Relationship building is at DV8 Education’s heart, place-based learning an integral component. According to David Sobel, “[p]lace-based education uses the local community and environment as the starting place for curriculum learning, strengthening community bonds, appreciation for the natural world, and a commitment to citizen engagement.” (https://www.davidsobelauthor.com/place-based-education) Place-based education occurs as one develops a deep and intentional relationship with oneself and others; it is the foundation from which empathy and advocacy are born. Learning about our home and its myriad (inter-) connections is a fundamental piece for shifting the human-centric perspective to one that sees human activity as part of a larger whole. As stated in the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning, “Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.” (FNESC, n.d.)
DV8 Education emerged as a result of observing a lack of nature connection education and environmental advocacy in public schools. Recognizing that teachers are very busy, DV8 understands that trying to weave something new into their teaching can often be challenging and sometimes even daunting. DV8 Education strives to relieve some of this burden by either supporting the teachers through their process, acting as a primary facilitator during curricular relevant workshops, or offering comprehensive educational resources. In addition to these offerings, DV8 Education has facilitated several professional development days for teachers both in the Comox Valley and Powell River School Districts. DV8 has worked in collaboration with the Lake Trail Community Education Society, Cumberland Community Forest Society and Cumberland Recreation Center to offer diverse programming such as Family Nature Connection Days, afterschool programming, and community scavenger hunts.
Renee Baron is the owner, primary facilitator and curriculum creator of DV8 Education. She is a BC certified teacher with an Environmental Education Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. She completed her degree in French (major) and Spanish (minor) at the University of Victoria and has a diploma in Montessori education. As a graduate from the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program, she pursued sea kayak guiding for many summers in different parts of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. She has over 20 years of experience in outdoor education; speaks English, French and Dutch fluently; and is trained in Advanced Wilderness First Aid.