Nature-Based Early Childhood Classes Continue This Spring at AUNE

Nature-based early childhood educationThe innovative Nature-Based Early Childhood Education program series at Antioch University New England (AUNE ) continues during the spring semester, with three courses. Two of the courses will give educators information and hands-on experience with nature preschools, forest kindergartens, and other nature-based programs, which have uniquely different approach to education from conventional indoor early-childhood centers.

The spring courses are:

• February 22-23.Working with Parents and Community. Faculty: Susan Weber, director of Sophia’s Hearth Family Center in Keene, New Hampshire, and Regina Wolf-Fritz, coordinator of public  programs at the Natick Organic Community Farm, Natick, Massachusetts. The course will help educators learn how to engage parents and community with nature preschools and forest kindergartens.

• May 19-23. Risk Management for Nature-Based Early Childhood. Faculty: Ann Stires, founder and director of the Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education in Alna, Maine. The course will be held at the Juniper Hill School in Alna, Maine and at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset Maine.  This will allow participants to observe the school and other outdoor education programs in action.

Topics to be considered include hazard identification, insurance considerations, appropriate planning for risk, kinds of risky play to allow (for example tree climbing and skating) versus which to discourage, and research on the relationship between nature play and health.

AUNE will also offer Early Childhood Ed Pre-KThird, a two-credit course that focuses on teaching and learning in the early childhood classroom. The class meets February 1 and 15, March 8, and April 6, taught by faculty Deborah Kardane.

The cost is $465 per graduate credit; $300 per credit to audit. For more information contact Krishni Pahl, AUNE Department of Education, kpahl@antioch.edu or 603-283-2314.  Generous funding from the Storer Foundation allows us to offer tuition assistance to reduce the cost/credit to $230 for nonmatriculated students for these spring courses.

Matriculated students in AUNE’s Teacher Certification/Integrated Learning master’s degree program have the option of specializing in nature-based early childhood education within the Elementary Education Certification/Integrated Learning Program.

A Nature-based Early Childhood Professional Development Certificate will be offered by AUNE, starting in summer 2014.  AUNE received a $117,000 grant from the George B. Storer Foundation to develop the thirteen-month certificate program for early childhood professionals and/or entrepreneurs who want to create new programs.

Find more information, including classes that will offered in summer 2014.