Today sees the launch of the next step to link teachers and educators around the globe, so that they can teach, and children can learn, all aspects of their curriculum through nature. This real-world learning movement is spreading across the globe to support children to be intellectually, physically and emotionally confident and capable citizens of the future, through engaging nature pedagogy as a method of teaching.
The founder of the new association is international consultant and Nature Pedagogy practitioner and expert, Claire Warden (www.claire-warden.com). She is currently touring Australia, where she is delivering courses across the country, providing skills and knowledge of working with children inside, outside and beyond. Nature Pedagogy is the focus of the award winning education leader’s PhD and is defined as the art of teaching and learning with nature inside a classroom, outside in nature and then beyond in wilder spaces.
In Australia there are a growing number of Bush and Nature Kindy, but there are also primary schools who are using outdoor classrooms to teach science, technology, engineering and maths. Warden explained, ‘Learning with nature is key to sustainability. Perhaps we need to start asking ourselves not only what planet we are leaving our children, but what children we are leaving for our planet? Understanding that we are integral to a massive natural system will be key to our human surviva; many groups connected to land across the world know that intuitively’.
The international advisory board is composed of many leading figures in nature based work, including Richard Louv, author of the Last Child in the Woods and David Sobel, an author and leader in the place-based movement.
Louv, said; “Claire’s dynamic approach inspires individuals and impacts policy worldwide. She’s one of the great leaders of the new nature movement.” The organisation is run through Warden’s community interest company, Living Classrooms, and has two key aims:- The first is to raise the profile of the professional status of a Nature Pedagogue. Warden comments that ‘the dream is to create a network of training organisations, colleges and universities who put Nature Pedagogy into their qualifications at all levels, so that teaching with nature is a non-negotiable’. The second is to increase the number of ‘nurture spaces’ for infant toddlers, nature kindergartens, nature-preschools and schools around the world. The world map on the website will allow settings to highlight where they are, so that parents can access a space near them for their children. Parents want this type of sustainable, nature-based care and education for their children, so they can learn in a childhood full of adventure, joy and laughter. Who would not?