The Jaguar Walk: Reflections from the Amazon Field School


  • Lee Beavington KPU/SFU


nature as teacher, holistic pedagogy, interdisciplinary learning, field school, experiential education


My three trips with the Interdisciplinary Amazon Field School, a global partnership between the Calanoa Project in Colombia and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) near Vancouver, Canada, have profoundly influenced my teaching. This reflective paper describes my experiences through narrative, journal entries, photography, and examples from both the Amazon and my classroom instruction at KPU. From these experiences, I have shifted from being a teacher to being a facilitator of learning that encourages whole?person pedagogy. Four themes are followed: (1) the importance of teacher adaptability in active learning environments, (2) confidence building for teachers to become capable leaders and mentors, (3) student-centered learning that embraces a transformative, holistic pedagogy, and (4) the movement toward Nature as teacher.