Our goal is to empower children through nature and exploratory learning in the outdoor environment.
Nature-based education is where learning occurs in the surroundings of nature. There are many program models that are considered nature-based, and generally speaking the nature-based programs that most people are familiar with include: nature-based preschools (also called nature preschools), forest preschools (also called forest kindergartens), nature-based kindergartens and nature-based first grade. As you can see most nature-based programs tend to be geared towards early childhood education and development.
Educating Children Outdoors however got its start with 3rd-5th graders and has always believed that children of all ages from Preschool-High School should have the opportunity to be immersed in the outdoors and learn through nature-based and place-based education. ECO now offers 5 programs to ensure that children of all ages are provided the opportunity to learn through experiential experiences outdoors.
In all nature-based programs however nature is at the core of the curriculum. There is extensive daily outdoor time over the course of a school year, and teachers implement high-quality teaching practices as well as high quality environmental education practices. In other words, nature and the outdoors charge virtually every aspect of a nature-based program. So, while the model or program structure may vary there is a common approach to teaching children--nature pedagogy.
Place-based education (PBE) immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. PBE emphasizes learning through participation in service projects for the local community.
Benefits of Nature and Place-Based Education:
If you would like to learn more about nature-based and place-based education here are some resources we recommend.
Journals, Essays and Case Studies: