Come Inside?! We’re Too Busy Learning! Teaching, Assessing, and Learning With Your Students Outdoors In All Weather, Black, Spring 2023
|Dates and Times:
||February 7 - May 2, 2023
||3 Graduate Credits
Teachers working in outdoor programs, or who just want their students to spend more time outdoors, will be asked to prove actual learning. This course will highlight strategies for meeting assessment requirements for learning done outside school walls.
Covered: Linking outdoor activities to state curriculum standards and required assessments. Current research and evidence-based forest and nature-based education practices. Applying assessment requirements to outdoor education programs and adapting them to appropriately address skills and development in children of all ages, abilities, and identities.
The strategies discussed will address not just how to incorporate equity, access, and inclusion into outdoor education, but also how to account for them in assessing the learning that takes place there.
Audience: PreK-3rd grade teachers and administrators
Instructor: Michelle Black, BA, Early Childhood Education, M.E., Elementary Education, M.A.E., Special Education.
Michelle Black has over 30 years of experience teaching children from birth through elementary school, including early intervention and special education. She has spent a lifetime promoting outdoor learning in all weather. Michelle was the licensed preschool teacher at Wren’s Nest Forest Preschool in New Haven, VT, and is now an early childhood special educator for the Addison Central School District in Middlebury, VT. Michelle Black
Course Goals & Objectives
- Understanding of practices and strategies for assessment at forest and nature-based education programs.
- Understanding of various assessment approaches and how to use this knowledge in standards-based learning in outdoor education settings.
- Understanding of ways to complete a 4-domain assessment outdoors.
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with current research and evidence-based forest and nature-based education practices.
- Identify and document skills shown outdoors.
- Demonstrate understanding of how to apply assessment requirements to outdoor education programs for which they were not originally designed.
- Demonstrate practical strategies for completing required assessments in an outdoor education program.
- Demonstrate understanding of adapting assessment requirements in an outdoor education setting to appropriately address skills and development in children of all ages and abilities, with attention to diversity of culture, class, and abilities of young children and their families.
Required Texts are not included in the course tuition.
Sobel, D. (2020). The sky above and the mud below: Lessons from nature preschools and forest kindergartens. Redleaf Press.
Banning, W., & Sullivan, G. (2010). Lens on outdoor learning. Redleaf Press.
Hanscom, A. J. (2016). Balanced and barefoot: How unrestricted outdoor play makes for strong, confident, and capable children. New Harbinger Publications.
Additional Required Readings/Videos will be provided by the instructor.
For additional course information
For additional registration information
Center for Schools Team