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Environmental Education in Early Childhood - Victoria - Home Page

Environmental Education in Early Childhood - Victoria - Home Page

Transforming childhood - transforming spaces - transforming learning | Learning through Landscapes The Story of Stuff Outdoor Kindergarten Programs - The Life-long Learner “Using the real world is the way learning has happened for 99.9% of human existence. Only in the last hundred years have we put it into a little box called a classroom”. Nixon, 1997:34 Introduction As Tim Gill explains, initiatives embracing Forest Schools and outdoor kindergartens have increased considerably over the last few years (Gill, 2009). This enquiry will explore the pedagogical beliefs behind outdoor programs and why they have emerged in Melbourne, Australia, looking at outdoor play and its “importance as a pedagogical space for children’s play, learning and development” (Moser & Martinsen, 2010). My inquiry will be in the form of a literature review, exploring the history of outdoor education in relation to Kindergarten programs, and the current emergence of specific outdoor programs around Melbourne, Australia. Methodology and Terminology Before exploring the literature it is necessary to define and explain the terminology. History of Outdoor programs Benefits of Outdoor Learning

New Guidelines to Bring Nature Play to Every Community National Wildlife Federation and Natural Learning Initiative – September 09, 2014By NWF and NLI Nature Play & Learning Places is a project of the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Initiative at the College of Design, North Carolina State University. The guidelines draw from principal author Robin Moore’s extensive landscape design experience, case studies of 12 existing nature play areas across the country, and the contributions from the members of a national steering committee and a technical advisory committee, which consisted of representatives from more than 20 national organizations. The project was funded by the US Forest Service. “Playing outdoors in nature gives children the chance to develop a connection with nature and wildlife, and is good for their overall well-being,” said Kevin Coyle, Vice President for Education and Training at National Wildlife Federation. For more information: Allen Cooper, National Wildlife Federation 512-610-7769

Outdoor Learning in the Early Years Life is enhanced by the great outdoors Learning can take place anywhere, indoors and outdoors, and in all weathers. In recent years an increasing number of educational settings have given children the opportunity to learn outdoors. In the UK, a number of forest schools based on the policy of Swedish outdoor education have been established. Forest areas are popular for outdoor learning as they provide many different opportunities: seeing the leaves changing colour throughout the year, using sticks, rocks and other natural materials to play and create with, jumping from rocks, climbing trees, and walking on various terrain. The coastline is also popular environment for outdoor learning. A walk through fields in the countryside introduces children to various plant and wildlife, edible berries and mushrooms, and allows them to explore in wide open spaces. The countryside offers children the opportunity to visit a farm and learn about various animals up-close. Like this: Like Loading...

What is the Outdoor Classroom by Eric Nelson Eric Nelson's book, Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms, clarifies the vision of the outdoor classroom, and explains simply and clearly how it addresses the needs of today's children. He kindly agreed to share some extracts with Connect readers. I hope these selections encourage you to get and read this excellent book. The Outdoor Classroom: Fulfilling a Vision for Childhood The Outdoor Classroom's vision is simple: children benefit from spending more time outdoors, especially in natural places. • The Outdoors is a Primary Environment for Children The outdoors is an important learning environment. • Freedom for Children to Play on Their Own A fundamental principle of the Outdoor Classroom is children's right to initiate their own activities. • Learning Takes Time Too many adults who work with children try to hurry them. • Children Need Physical Activity Physical activity is necessary for children's development and health. • Engaged Children and Engaged Teachers Engagement is key to learning.