Daylighting the Classroom

Check out Shimshon Obadia’s website, featuring his work on “Daylighting the Classroom” in the news.

Shimshon Obadia is an undergraduate student artist working on the Daylighting the Classroom project in partnership with The University of British Columbia’s SSHRC funded Eco Art Incubator research initiative and École K.L.O. Middle School in Kelowna, B.C.. This project’s mandate is to use eco art to re-envision education and the role of the natural world in school curricula. For the past year, Obadia has been using eco-art to connect middle school students with their more-than-human community. The project is also designed to bring attention to the students’ now seven-year struggle to restore the often flooded concrete-covered wetland habitat that once ran through their school grounds. Initiated by students’ discovery of blue-listed Western Painted Turtle eggs in their long jump sand pits, this school’s community began to restore the species’ disappearing habitat. Originally challenged to raise $100,000.00 their school board for this habitat’s restoration, multiple “generations” of students remarkably raised $86,000.00. Unfortunately, in an updated quote, these students recently discovered their project will now cost half a million dollars. Although dismayed and disappointed, through work on this issue, the students and teachers involved ended up creating a process of discovery- how the natural world is an educational resource gold mine. Through eco art implementation in their education, these students have shown an aptitude for learning far beyond what is regularly observed of middle school students in a traditional classroom setting. This project focuses on the completion of this endeavour, these students’ inspiring passion for their environment, the role of eco art in the classroom and in school curricula, and helping students negotiate the disappointments and obstacles of bureaucratic intransigence and even, some might say, of dismissal of children’s right to learn from and steward the natural world.

This project made possible by: The Eco Art Incubator Research Initiative, Central Okanagan Naturalist Club, KLO Green Committee, UBC Internal Research Grant Program, The Centre for Culture and Technology, THEATRE26, British Columbia School districts 22 & 23, and The City of Kelowna.

For more from Shimshon Obadia, visit www.ShimshonObadia.com

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