Tonia Gray and Carol Birrell have been involved in Nature-Based education since the 1980’s. Both are lecturers in the School of Education, University of Western Sydney and invite you to participate in an ongoing dialogue on Ecopedagogies. In light of the much discussed ‘disconnect’ from Nature, educational moves towards a ‘connect’ with the natural world through ecological ways of experiencing, thinking and knowing are crucial- these are called ecopedagogies.
About the authors:
Tonia Gray is an Associate Professor and Secondary Specialist in Pedagogy and Learning at UWS. Her research interests closely align to this project: eco-pedagogy, human-nature relationships, and reflection and experiential learning in a variety of educational settings.
In 2009 Tonia received an ALTC Citation for engaging students in life-altering learning, providing a role model for scholarly activity in outdoor education and building an internationally recognized program. With a wealth of experience in curriculum design, implementation and evaluation spanning over three decades, she was awarded an ALTC grant for curriculum design and research specifically to introduce reflective and experience-based learning to international education within tertiary settings.
Her long-term involvement in NSW Curriculum with the Board of Studies and more recently with ACARA in the initial Draft of the HPE Shape Paper, affords Tonia a depth and breadth of contemporary expertise in the National Curriculum renewal process.
Dr Carol Birrell
Carol is an artist, writer and academic exploring the interaction between an Indigenous and Western sense of place. She is currently teaching Social Ecology at the University of Western Sydney and before this was teaching Aboriginal Education at Wollongong University. Her earth-based arts practice for the last 12 years, called ‘ecopoiesis’, draws together movement, painting, photography, environmental sculpture and poetry, along with Indigenous understandings as a base for ecological writing and exploring ecological identity. Carol has strong long-term collaborative relationships with several Australian Aboriginal communities: Yuin (south coast NSW) and Worrorra (west Kimberley). At present, she is writing a book on the life and teachings of distinguished Yuin Senior Lawman and Elder Max Dulumunmun Harrison and developing research in the field of ecopedagogies.