Faculty of Education

Grad Student Garden Project at a First Nations School Plants Seeds of Change

By: Colin Couchman
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Announcement by Associate Dean Pam Bishop

I am pleased to announce that Kathleen Padfield has been selected as the 2013 winner of the Art Geddis “Learning about Teaching” Memorial Award.

Kathleen worked with a First Nations school-community to develop flower, vegetable and rock gardens. As part of that initiative, Kathleen and her elementary students also expanded on their school’s composting program and created ‘tire gardens’. The curriculum that supported this included family planting events, salad parties (from the school-grown produce) and student-constructed planter boxes. According to Kathleen this initiative has “fostered beneficial partnerships with Education Administration, Chief and Council, Economic Development Department, and a seasonal Gardening Team, as well as the local grocery store and seasonal garden store. In the months ahead, we look forward to the exciting opportunity to be a partner in the construction of a small greenhouse.”

Kathleen’s start to her six years in this community convinced her that she “had no knowledge of this place and of its People. I am humbled and honoured to have found myself doing work in a setting which continues to inspire and enable me to perform my own decolonizing work and to correct my own ignorance of First Nations history and culture, through reflective practice.”

The Art Geddis Memorial Award is presented annually to a graduate student working in the area of reflective practice.

In adjudicating the Award, preference was given to a student who has teaching experience at the elementary or secondary level. The award value is $1,000.00.

On behalf of the Faculty of Education, congratulations Kathleen!