Program Highlights

The status quo is not what we’re after. Creating educators who will transform the traditional classroom means getting them out into the world to experience first-hand place-based education concepts. It means breaking out the glue and scissors to bring stories to life with puppets and storytelling. It means writing and knitting and binding books. It means thinking and going beyond the confines of textbook learning. Here are some ways that Elementary Teacher Certification classes at AUNE spark the creativity of future teachers.

Ecology of Imagination in Childhood

This course investigates the developmental basis of environmental education and social studies by examining recurrent themes from children’s play around the world. Making forts, hunting and gathering, constructing small worlds, going on adventures, and fantasy play are children’s instinctive ways of being in the natural world and these activities can be used as the basis for curriculum. Using some of these techniques as planning tools, we will explore curriculum activities that start in Keene neighborhoods and spread out into the surrounding hills and streams.

In the first step of this writing project, the group explores Bear Den State Forest in Gilsum. Later, they meet to read their stories to each other.

From Sheep to Shawl

The process of turning wool into cloth can be the focus of rich studies for elementary children. Students in the Sheep to Shawl course immerse themselves in all phases of the process, carding and spinning fleece into yarn, dyeing with natural dyes, weaving on a variety of simple, easy to make looms. Through this hands on immersion, students explore their own creativity as they discover the multitude of integrated curriculum opportunities for the classroom.

Sheep to Shawl

Students bring their learning to bear, creating woolen samplers of this innovative class curriculum.

Circus Dreams

Ever wanted to run away and join the circus? Probably!and most kids would love to do that, too. Here’s your chance. In this course, we’ll explore the theme of Circus as a fun vehicle that can bring together diverse areas of study and one that we can encourage children’s self-expression and self-confidence. We’ll push back the desks and delve into circus skills, puppetry (from giant to tiny), clowning, movement, storytelling, painting, prop construction, etc. as we create a circus performance and consider ways of integrating a variety of arts and crafts with a variety of curriculum disciplines. A flea circus, too? No fleas please!well maybe!!!

Circus Dreams - clown

Tomorrow’s teachers are today’s clowns, ringleaders, and puppetmasters, bringing whimsy and controlled chaos to the classroom environment.


Integrated Learning: Theory into Practice

This course will provide students with opportunities to acquire an historical perspective of the integrated day classroom. Students will learn to appreciate the value of an integrated approach to learning and gain experience in determining children’s characteristics, levels of development and needs through observation. Students will see the learning of creative, social and process skills as important components of the curriculum and learn how to plan and implement an interdisciplinary thematic study, which can satisfy the demands of the curriculum, as well as build on children’s experiences and meet the needs and interest of a variety of learners. They will explore issues and learn techniques of management, grouping, documentation, record keeping, display, evaluation, etc., and understand the implications of establishing a democratic classroom and a community for learning and sharing.


“Many of the final projects that we were asked to create in our Antioch classes were closely tied to personal passions and interests, like this thematic study of Mount Monadnock that I developed for my Integrated Learning Theory into Practice class. I found that binding my work was another way for me to connect to it and it helped me take pride in my final product.” – Integrated Learning student, Liz Lawler