Friday, May 24, 2019

Spending a day in nature with children

Today we'll spend a day in nature with children at a beautiful nature preserve in our greater community. To ready for the event, I listened to an interview with Stephen Kellert, Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology and Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The interview affirmed our programming based on the beneficial attributes of playing and learning in the natural environment. Our many outdoor education and nature-related lessons are positive for students in so many way, ways that will help our students to be happy, creative, collaborative problem solvers in their own lives and in the lives of communities.

The interview also set the stage for further environmental education efforts including the following:
  • Supporting existing formal and informal outdoor education events such as our wonderful school garden
  • Promoting forest play with adequate supervision at regular intervals
  • Integrating our discipline-specific learning events with our natural environment
  • Affirming and supporting students' exploration, questioning, and interest in nature
  • Creating a nature tool and information collection to support students' exploration including nets, magnifying lenses, guides, stories, and more.
  • Using the resources from the Children Nature Network to inform and promote our efforts
  • Continuing to connect with local conservation organizations via field studies, in-house expert visitors, grants, projects, and more.
I'm excited about today's adventure and the many ways we will continue to develop these efforts with our students, family members, and colleagues in the days ahead.