The BCcampus Research Fellows program provides support for B.C. post-secondary educators to conduct research on improving student learning and to share their results and experiences with peers in B.C. and beyond.
Project Lead/Fellow: Alex Berry
Institutions: Capilano University and University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus
Project Title: Activating Early Childhood Teacher Education for Sustainability in B.C.
Research Focus: The effects of rapid climate shifts in British Columbia pose significant challenges to northern and rural communities across the province. As inheritors of places that are increasingly compromised by climate disaster, young children in these communities must be involved in mitigating climate challenges that threaten their future. Doing so requires the leadership of early childhood educators who are skilled in creating innovative pedagogies built from children’s everyday climate realities (BC Early Childhood Pedagogy Network, 2023).
This project will enhance learning and teaching strategies and practices by including early childhood education students located in northern and remote areas of B.C. to co-create critical pedagogical responses to pressing local climate concerns. In collaboration with Capilano University’s Centre for Childhood Studies and UBC Okanagan’s FEELed Lab, the project will create an experiential online early childhood teacher education course titled EDUC 472: Sensing a Changed Climate in Early Childhood. The course will pilot an innovative online arts-based methodology for generating inclusive, place-specific pedagogies with students that directly address local climate challenges.
Biography: Alex Berry, PhD, teaches early childhood education in the School of Education and Childhood Studies at Capilano University. She was recently awarded a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship at UBC Okanagan in the Faculty of Critical and Creative Studies, where she will study creative pedagogical approaches for young children’s climate dilemmas in the Okanagan.