Meet Stephanie, our Founder
So begins Mary Oliver’s poem, Mindful.
So describes my experience, revelling in everyday nature right here in Calgary. Be it the migrating warblers in spring, the wildflower wonders of summer, the golden aspen leaves in fall, or the red rosehips of winter, there is always something that draws me outside, takes my breath away, and sparks my sense of wonder.
I love nothing more than sharing that spark with teachers and their students. My experience in delivering hundreds of environmental education programs to schools across the city spurred me on to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University. My research centred around supporting teachers in Calgary to deepen their students’ connection to the natural world. Thimbleberry Learning is the direct result of that research.
My hope is to demonstrate the potential that learning outdoors has for increasing learning engagement, supporting well-being, and fostering environmental stewardship. I want to reach students who may not have had the chance to connect with nature. I hope to empower teachers to take learning outdoors at every school and in every season. I see this as a win for teachers, a win for students, and a win for the planet.
I’m an educator, a consultant, an instructional designer, a design thinker, a mindfulness instructor, and a life-long learner. In addition to a passion for local ecology, I hold a BA in Canadian Studies and am a proponent of interdisciplinary learning. Educating students outdoors can be a great way to bring together social studies, language arts, math, art, physical education, and science. I love creating projects and activities that burst through curricular boundaries.
I would love to work together with you and your students and see what's waiting to be discovered in your own schoolyard!
You can read Mary Oliver's poem Mindful in its entirety, in her collection of poems, Why I Wake Early.
This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Cette recherche est soutenue par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada (CRSH)