New guide book for nature-based education helps preschool educators disocver the benefits of learning in nature as well as how to integrate nature into school curriculums.
Partnering with Nature in Early Childhood draws from the curriculum of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool to show educators how to adapt nature-centered learning for a variety of settings.
Written by Patti Bailie, Ph.D., associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Maine at Farmington and founding director of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool, and Catherine Koons-Hubbard, M.Ed., experienced educator and former director of the preschool, this guide offers ideas for creating a successful nature-centered learning environment for young children.
“We believe that for very young children, a single tree can be as meaningful as an entire forest. A dandelion growing through a crack in the sidewalk is as worthy of attention as a field of flowers,” explain the authors, who have experience with both rural and urban classrooms. “With the right mix of understanding and communication, it is possible to create meaningful nature experiences for children everywhere.”
Packed with activities for every season, the book examines the many ways to explore the natural world. Through the sample lesson plans and inspiring photos, educators can learn how to successfully implement nature-based curriculum both within and outside classroom walls while also meeting state-mandated early learning standards.
“Teachers should encourage children to enjoy and participate in their own learning. This means providing space for play. It means offering direct and indirect experiences by balancing indoor time with books and paper with observing, hiking, and playing outdoors,” explain the authors. “Most of all, it means creating an environment in which a child’s curiosity is appreciated, celebrated, and encouraged.”
Partnering with Nature in Early Childhood (ISBN 978-0-87659-929-7, PB, and 978-0-87659-930-3, ebook, pp. 328; $69.95) by Patti Bailie and Catherine Koons-Hubbard will be available November 1, 2022. Digital review copies may be requested through Edelweiss.