‘From lone-sailor to fleet’: Supporting educators through Wild Pedagogies
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Enabling educators to meet new and challenging times requires fundamental shifts to ways of imagining and enacting their practice. A central yet often understated aspect of this educational change are the various ways in which educators receive training and development. From initial teacher training through to continuing professional development, cultures which underpin policy change in educational institutions emerge from the practices of educators. In this paper we examine educators’ experiences of a Wild Pedagogies gathering which took place over three days in central Devon in late spring 2019. Part workshop, part informal social gathering and mutual exchange, this continuing professional development event enabled conversations, sharing (and shaping) of practice, and imagination of the future of personal and institutional educational priorities. This paper positions itself as an account of a gathering of wild pedagogues – captured as reflection, discussion and activities – and brings the participants’ reflections into conversation with wider themes emerging from previous Wild Pedagogies gatherings. It makes the assertion that such dialogic continuing professional development, constructed on foundations of relational and place-responsive pedagogies, can underpin future practitioner development in the event of a policy shift toward greater availability of outdoor learning and nature connection in the UK. The paper ends with four principles for infusing new or existing environmental education continuing professional development with place-responsive and wild pedagogical approaches.
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