Child Studies and Social Work

Learning through play with Dr. Beverlie Dietze

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On November 2, 2018, the students and instructors, Linda Sutherby and Brenda Sauvé, of ELCC 1110 excitedly welcomed Dr. Beverlie Dietze to class. Dr. Dietze, hailing from British Columbia, is a renowned Canadian author, speaker, and advocate for outdoor and nature play for children.

ELCC 1110 Learning Through Play I is a first semester, one of two core courses focusing on play for Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) majors in the Bachelor of Child Studies. Dr. Dietze is the co-author of three textbooks students use in the ELCC major.

Beverlie shared theoretical perspectives on outdoor and nature play, the many benefits of outdoor play to children's learning, development, and well-being, and how to create provocations that support children in their quest for experimentation and inquiry. She invited the students to play outdoors where they considered the theory to practice connections.

Dr. Dietze shared her perspective on the significance of guest speaking to students. "It was a privilege to present to and engage in outdoor experiential learning with the students in the Mount Royal Bachelor of Child Studies program. The students illustrated their keenness to learn and to share what they had learned from their classes and their texts. Bringing authors and students together in real world learning experiences facilitates opportunities to deepen students' engagement in transferring theory to application."
Student observationsBelow are some student comments and feedback on their experience with Beverlie.

"I loved having Beverlie in our class. I was able to learn so much about the importance of outdoor play and how to engage children in it."

"Beverlie's presentation allowed me to understand her views and knowledge at a deeper level. Her presentation was amazing and I found it engaging to be outside. She inspired me with different ideas. Having an author as a speaker made me feel a stronger and more personal connection to her work because I experienced her values and beliefs personally."

"It was a fantastic experience having the writer of our textbooks in our classroom to guide us. She has a tremendous amount of passion and knowledge. I appreciated the variety of activities we did and look forward to demonstrating each of them in the classroom settings."

"I really appreciated Dr. Dietze's presentation! It was so awesome to meet the lady who wrote our textbooks. She gave us extra insight to the importance of outdoor play."

"Meeting Beverlie Dietze was like meeting a celebrity. The presentation itself was exciting because I found it interesting to learn about risky play and its benefits. The presentation helped strengthen my new image of the child. I used to think children shouldn't participate in risky play because they could get hurt. I now know it's important for children to test their limits. Children need to climb and run and jump to test their limits and learn self-regulation."

"I think Beverlie coming into class really provided a great overview of outdoor play, and I loved that our guest speaker was the person who wrote our textbook."

"Beverlie's thoughts were expressed to us through active participation and it was fun to learn through the games and play. I liked that we got to learn in person from someone who we read from during the semester."

Dec. 4, 2018 ― Linda Sutherby and Brenda Sauvé

Linda Sutherby, Associate Professor, and Brenda Sauvé, Contract Faculty, Bachelor of Child Studies, Department of Child Studies and Social Work in the Faculty of Health, Community and Education.