Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators

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Stenhouse Publishers, 2008 - Education - 168 pages
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Public discussions of global climate change and other threats to the planet are making children more aware of environmental issues. As increasing numbers of kids come to school wishing to take action, educators want to know how to teach in a way that fosters a love of nature and an understanding of the complexity and seriousness of these issues.

In Childhood and Nature, noted educator David Sobel makes the case that meaningful connections with the natural world don't begin in the rainforest or arctic, but in our own backyards and communities. Based on his observations of recurrent play themes around the world, Sobel articulates seven design principles that can guide teachers in structuring learning experiences for children. Place-based education projects that make effective use of the principles are detailed throughout the book. And while engaged in these projects, students learn language arts, math, science, social studies, as well as essential problem-solving and social skills through involvement with nature and their communities.

The pressures of test preparation, standards, and curriculum frameworks often reduce the study of nature and the environment to a set of facts and general concepts. However, as Childhood and Nature demonstrates, linking curriculum with an engagement in the real world not only provides students with the thinking skills needed for whatever test comes their way, but also helps them grow into responsible citizens and stewards of the earth.

 

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Contents

Replacing Contempt with Love
1
Appareled in Celestial Light Transcendent Nature Experiences in Childhood
9
Children and Nature Design Principles
19
The Rest of the Stories
59
CHART OF DESIGN PRINCIPLES
61
Take Back the Afternoon
63
Mapping McCabe Connecting Curriculum and Community
71
Authentic Curriculum
75
The Sky Above the Internet Below
109
Island Play Disney World Is Like a Flea Compared to Whitehead
117
PlaceBased Education in Guilford Vermont Thinking Locally Understanding Globally
131
Global Climate Change Meets Ecophobia
141
Ancient Greece in Vermont
153
REFERENCES
155
INDEX
161
Copyright

Valley Quest Strengthening Community Through Educational Treasure Hunts
99

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