This 12-hour course pairs benefits of outdoor learning with strategies for implementation at your preschool, daycare, public or private elementary school setting. As we move through the course, you will examine the physical spaces in your program (indoors and out) and explore ways to harness them for healthy outdoor play and learning. We will also identify ways that outdoor learning aligns with curriculum and discuss how to demonstrate the benefits to stakeholders such as fellow staff, administrators, maintenance crew, and parents. We will discuss practical approaches to moving class outside and help your team transform teaching practices to confidently teach in outdoor settings. This includes considerations for sites in urban and rural settings, guidance on risk management, planning for diverse learner needs, and low- or no-cost options for materials. Taking cues from nature-based programs and forest schools, we will highlight resources and research throughout as models of outdoor learning. Participants will leave with strategies, tools, and a supportive network of colleagues to make outdoor learning a reality!
Your course facilitators are:
Heather Quinn, director of a nature-based preschool at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, MD and Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, director of ERAFANS and coauthor of Nature Play Workshop for Families. Additional guest presenters will add to our class discussion as well.
The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, work in a smaller cohort of teachers, and asynchronous independent learning experiences. Sorry, this is not a pre-recorded 'on-demand' class; it is designed for interactive learning in real time.
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (EST): Facilitated discussions on key topics
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (EST): Follow-up discussion and cohort meetings
Sundays, 3-5 p.m. (EST): Facilitated discussion with select guest presenters
There is a total of 12 hours of direct online learning with presenters and within small cohorts. Additional self-directed learning will take place centered on topics we discuss as a group. Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course.
All attendees will receive a professional development certificate for successful completion of this course. Maryland educator: please note this course is pending approval for MSDE clock hours.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
This course is ideal for teachers in preschool, childcare, and elementary school settings who want to move learning outside! Feel free to reach out to Monica with questions.