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Call for Submissions - Dr. David Suzuki Award

Natural Curiosity Call for Submissions

Exciting News - This award is now also accepting applications from pre-service Early Childhood Educators!

The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study would like to honour two promising Teacher or Early Childhood Educator Candidates graduating in 2017 or 2018 from an accredited Ontario Faculty of Education program. In recognition of excellence in pre-service Environmental Education of elementary school children, winning applicants will receive a gift of $500. As well, winners will have an opportunity to participate in a week-long Fellowship placement at the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at a mutually agreeable time during the 2017-2018 school year. Suzuki Fellows will be able to see, learn, and immerse themselves in Environmental Inquiry, the Lab School's four-part approach to Environmental Education under the mentorship of Laboratory School teacher-researchers.

The Dr. David Suzuki Fellowships were established by The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study. These Fellowships were made possible by the Norman and Marian Robertson Charitable Foundation, the leadership of Laboratory School teachers, and the support of celebrated, award-winning geneticist, environmentalist, and broadcaster, Dr. David Suzuki.

These Fellowships were created due to The Laboratory School's enduring commitment to pre-service teacher education. This is also in response to an overwhelming number of requests from teacher candidates wishing to have a practicum experience at the Laboratory School in order to witness Environmental Inquiry in action before setting off in their own teaching practices.

The Laboratory School is a Nursery to Grade Six elementary school that is part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The school has a threefold mandate:




  1. pre-service teacher education;
  2. ongoing and innovative educational research;
  3. exemplary evidence-based education for the children who attend the school.

As a Laboratory School, one distinct characteristic is its mission to explore what is possible in education through research and classroom practice, and to disseminate those possibilities to the public education system.

As part of this mission, and in appreciation of the Ministry of Education's Policy Framework, Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow, the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study has embarked on a large Environmental Education Initiative to disseminate its integrated and inquiry-based approach to Environmental Education with elementary school teachers in Ontario. At the Laboratory School, authentic curriculum integration is made possible through the manifold directions that children's questions take throughout the inquiry-process, as well as the necessary skills that they apply when investigating those questions in an experiential way. The school's approach to Environmental Education can be described through the following defining features:

  1. Inquiry-Based Learning;
  2. Integrated Learning;
  3. Experiential Learning;
  4. Stewardship.

More about this approach, accompanied by examples, can by found in our teachers resource entitled Natural Curiosity: Building Children's Understanding of the World through Environmental Inquiry. Download your free copy.

We invite teacher and ECE candidates preparing to receive their Certification from the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) or College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario (CECE) in 2017 or 2018, and who are committed to ongoing professional learning about Environmental Education, to submit an application. Please read the official Submission Guidelines to find out how to apply.


Submission Guidelines

Thank you to everyone who applied for this years awards. The award application deadline has passed for this year. Please sign up to our newsletter or Twitter feed to keep updated for the next award application period.

Please read the Submission Guidelines prior to completing and submitting the Submission Form.

Who is eligible?
All applicants should be teacher or ECE candidates who will be graduating in 2017 or 2018 from an accredited pre-service teacher education or ECE program that is recognized by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) or College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario (CECE).

If you know of an educator candidate currently preparing to graduate from an accredited teacher education program under the OCT who shows promise and commitment in Environmental Education, please forward his or her name and contact information to so that we may encourage him or her to submit an application.

What does a complete submission include?
A complete nomination consists of two components:

  1. a completed Information Form
  2. a written Application Form

Where do I make a submission?
This year we are only accepting online sumbissions for the Dr. David Suzuki Award. Please complete the Information and the Application Form and submit them online.

When is the submission deadline?
Submissions must be made no later than March 31, 2017.

When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be contacted in May 2017.

Who judges the submissions?
Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of members of the Environmental Education Committee of the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.

If selected, an overview of your experiences in environmental education will be placed on our website.