Discover the environment as a classroom at The Woods

May 15th, 2011 | SMWC

The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College welcomes you to join us this summer for our Children and Nature/Environmental Pedagogy for Preschool-Middle School course. We are excited to assist teachers and undergraduate students in exploring ways to use the natural environment as a classroom for grades pre-school thru middle school.  The course is offered June 17-18, 2011, and June 24-25, 2011, provides practical examples in establishing and using the outdoors as a classroom.

What is the premise of the course?

Where do we begin?  As educators, we not only need to share our own Earth stories with today’s youth but those of Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Thomas Berry, Jane Goodall, Alice White and Vandana Shiva, just to name a few.  Through their stories, we will be able to unlock the wisdom of their collective experiences and offer hope for the future not only for humans but all species on Earth.  Why is it so important to share own stories and the stories of past and present lovers of Earth with the today’s youth?  A couple of reasons come to mind:

  1. To help children capture their own “sense of wonder” in the natural world.
  2. To share the wisdom of the past with the present.
  3. To nurture a respect for our natural capital:  air, water and land.
  4. To plant the seeds of knowledge that will secure a future on Earth for those yet to come whether they are flora or fauna. 
  5. To identify those moments and experiences in childhood that has the potential to transcend a life that in future terms will enhance the Earth/human relationship.

Course Benefits

Participants in the Children and Nature/Environmental Pedagogy for Preschool-Middle School course will:

  • examine the history of environmental education,
  • design learning experiences in nature,
  • explore and create designs for outside classrooms/gardens/habitats on school sites,
  • identify teaching/learning resources at the local and national level, and
  • identify state curriculum standards involving ecology.


Download the registration form for more information. (PDF)

The course will be offered in the conference center of Hulman Hall and at the outside classroom at SMWC. For more information, contact Terri Boland, SP, at (812) 535-5112 or tboland(at)

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