Eurythmy Room, High School Campus
Free to the community
Somewhere along the way, much of environmental education lost its magic, its “wildly, gladly rejoicing together.” Instead, it’s become didactic and staid, restrictive and rule bound. A creeping focus on cognition and often fear has replaced the goal of exhilaration that once motivated educators to take children and older students outside.
Educational philosophies that value immersion and play in nature offer another option for teaching students about nature and the environment. These values are important throughout primary and secondary school, not just in dreamy early childhood settings. It is important for parents and educators to understand that children and young adults both learn better and develop stronger environmental ethics with positive and immersive educational approaches. We will look at how these approaches connect children to nature, engage them constructive activities, and provide the foundations for responsible environmental behavior.
David Sobel, core faculty in the department of education at Antioch University, writes and lectures about children and nature, developmentally appropriate environmental education, and place-based education. David received a BA from Williams College and an MEd from Antioch University New England. He was co-founder of the Harrisville Children’s Center in Harrisville, New Hampshire, and has served as a publicly elected school board member in both Nelson and Harrisville, New Hampshire. He has served as a staff development and science curriculum consultant to schools in New Hampshire and Vermont and has been a guest speaker and workshop leader for a variety of school and environmental organizations. He serves on the editorial board of the Holistic Education Review and is the author of Children’s Special Places and many articles on children and nature. He is currently at work on two books on developmental psychology and ecoliteracy.