Slow Pedagogy in a Fast World

I am still working on my thesis, a participatory action research project, that looks at how teachers engage in environmental education.

I’ve been taken by this article by Payne and Wattchow.

As I’ve been reading it, I’ve been wondering about how we, as educators, can develop a slow pedagogy as well as the tech skills necessary to live in a constantly changing world. How can we, “live in natural places over time”and encourage students to explore the quickly changing digital world?

I’ve been having students sit in “magic spots” (a place where they choose at the beginning of the year, and sit there everyday for ten minutes) so they have a connection to their specific place. The plan (for next year) is to have them bring an ipad out once a week and take a picture of their spot. They can use the technology to show changes over time, make a stop motion video, or a blog highlighting the connection they have to their place, as well as the changes they have noticed, and the feelings associated with both of these ideas.

I teach at an international school, and I constantly think about how students are displaced, or disconnected from their “natural” environment. As a result, I think, they turn to virtual places to find their identity.

Just torn, as usual, about what to do through tech. How can I share my two passions while making sure we provide the same kind of opportunities for future students to be outside.

2 Replies to “Slow Pedagogy in a Fast World”

  1. How much theorizing about Space and Place do you have them do? I'm still partial to Richard White's attempts to get us to see our connections to nature rather than our disconnects (in both The Organic Machine and the provocatively titled “Are You an Environmentalist or Do You Work for a Living.” A later iteration is Jenny Price's 13 ways of thinking about nature in LA.


  2. Everyday after our time in magic spots, we reflect as a group. We talk about how we feel in our place, but I teach grade 2/3 so we don't differentiate between space and place, but maybe we should. I fully agree that we should, and I do, focus on the connections rather than the disconnects and it's been amazing to see how connected my students feel to a place where they are new to. Spending time, and sitting, observing, and just being in a place has really helped them develop a sense of place (or at least that's what I think).

    Thanks for the articles, can't wait to read them, please keep them coming!


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