ROOT TAP LEARNING
Tapping into the Land, Culture and Spirit
NATURE - COMMUNITY - SELF
DEEP CONNECTION TO LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND HABITATS
TAKE ACTION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
GROW FOOD AND RESTORE HABITATS
EMPOWER CHILDREN TO CARE FOR AND TO STEWARD THE LAND.
The day starts with an outdoor circle. A storytelling circle to tell and listen to stories and mythologies from around the world. A restorative circle to solve conflicts.
BUILD THE CLASSROOM COMMUNITY THROUGH CIRCLES.
Mark the passage of time with celebrations and rituals. A Fall harvest celebration. Winter and Summer Solstice Celebrations. Earth Day Celebration. Rite of passage ceremonies to mark important milestones.
BUILD THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY THROUGH SCHOOL-WIDE CELEBRATIONS, RITUALS AND CEREMONIES.
Authentic, place-based education.
Take students into the community. Visit places of worship, local markets and theatre, mural art and architecture tours.
AUTHENTIC, PLACE-BASED EDUCATION LIES BEYOND THE SCHOOLYARD.
Inner knowing and awareness is the first step. Meditation, creative visualization, yoga, Qi Gong, and the arts connect children with their inner selves. It is this inner connection that helps children to self-regulate and find inner peace.
Curiosity and inquiry-based teaching and learning. Connect children to wonder and curiosity by asking good questions and telling stories. Children naturally want to learn and to know. Empower children to find the answers on their own so that they can inquire, solve problems and think independently. Develop creativity and inspire learning by infusing inquiry-based projects with the arts and storytelling.
HOLISTIC EDUCATION AND
ROOT TAP LEARNING
We are a small group of educators who started a holistic school in the Toronto District School Board about 10 years ago. Originally, the school was called Whole Child School. In the second year of operation the name of the school was changed to Equinox Holistic Alternative School.
We based our holistic curriculum on Jack Miller’s book The Holistic Curriculum. Dr. Jack Miller - professor at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto – has been a leading thinker for over 30 years in the domain of holistic education and has been a guide and inspiration for us in our journey of developing the school. Dr. Miller stated: “I have had the privilege of being connected to Equinox since its inception. I was honoured when the planning committee based part of the school’s curriculum on the ideas in my book The Holistic Curriculum. One of the central concepts in this book is the connected curriculum, which includes six connections- subject, community, earth, body-mind, thinking, and soul.”
Dr. Jack Miller’s book, Whole Child Education, which was published in 2010 when the school was in its beginning stages describes the school’s vision. The book was dedicated to the teachers, parents and children of the school and a book launch was held in the community. In 2015, Dr. Miller conducted a study of the school where he interviewed teachers, parents and children. The study has been published in the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality in 2016 and in the book, Holistic Education and Embodied Learning.
The original vision of the school was that it was to be a model for other schools wanting to engage holistic education. Some of parents agreed that Equinox can serve as a model for other schools. One parent said: “Other schools should be built on the Equinox model. Absolutely! We are fortunate, privileged to have this experience. Students who have graduated and we see how well how they are doing. Learning how to learn rather than memorizing. People are hungry for change. My role was outreach and I spoke to many people. I have seen interest from many groups.” Another parent whose daughter is now in high school said, “I believe that other schools should be based on the holistic model. What I have seen in the kids that come through that program. They are not texting all the time and do not have the problems that I hear about kids in other schools.”
After 10 years of really hard work to develop and implement a holistic curriculum in the Toronto District School Board, we are now ready to share our knowledge and approach with other schools and educators.
ROOT TAP HOLISTIC PRACTICES
AT YOUR SCHOOL
We have spent the last 10 years developing and implementing ROOT TAP HOLISTIC PRACTICES in the Toronto District School Board. We have been limited by space, supplies, support and funding. Despite these serious limitations we have been able to implement these holistic practices at Equinox and we have also successfully delivered the Ontario Curriculum.
We believe that any school can return education to the land, culture and spirit. We also believe that most obstacles and limitations can be overcome. We are passionate about sharing our skills and strategies with other schools, teachers and organizations. We also believe that even small shifts are important.
SCHOOL-BASED MENTORING PROGRAM
A Root Tap Lead Instructor trains teachers on-site. The Lead Instructor helps to plan and deliver the Root Tap Holistic Practices. We provide your teaching staff with the necessary teaching materials and curriculum.
TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM
It takes one year to become a trained Root Tap Instructor. In July 2019, we are offering a three week teacher training program. The program runs four days per week. In August 2019, we are offering a shorter 12 day intensive teacher training program.
We offer a separate teacher training program for teachers who would like to start an outdoor kindergarten program. The outdoor kindergarten teacher training program is offered at the same time as the other program.
The training continues throughout the school year via Skype and video. You meet with your mentor teacher once a month in person or via Skype. During the meetings you are expected to share three examples from your teaching practice that documents Root Tap Holistic Practices. Journalling, student work, video footage are ways that you can document your learning and development.
If you successfully complete the summer training and the 10 month classroom training program, you will receive an Root Tap Teacher Certificate.
Engaged Hands +
Nourished Hearts +
Inspired Minds =
ROOT TAP LEARNING. Returning education to the land, culture and spirit for
a sustainable future.
CHILDREN + NATURE CONNECTION =
LOVE OF THE EARTH
LOVE OF THE EARTH + STEWARDING THE LAND =
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
WE WANT OUR EDUCATION TO CHANGE SO THAT WE CAN BE THE CHANGE!