|Course Number:||EDU 5627 C21 (Graduate)|
|Instructor:||Chip Darmstadt, Amy Butler & Susan Koch|
|Location:||North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, VT|
|Dates and Times:||June 8- 12, 2019. Final project is due July 26, 2018.|
Note:Please register directly with North Branch Nature Center (NBNC). Please notify NBNC if you wish to take the Castleton course. NBNC will then give you the link to Castleton's online registration form. All payments should be payable to NBNC and sent to NBNC at 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05658.
Essential Question: What does it mean to Educate Children Outdoors?
The purpose of ECO Level 1 is to apply integrated academic curricula beyond the classroom, while immersed in and participating with nature as a learning partner. The course provides inquiry-based learning through intensive experiential lessons, activities, and discussions entirely held outdoors. Participants will explore, create and experiment within specific ECO lessons catered to the daily topic. Daily reflection and mindfulness practices are an integral part of the nature immersion learning model and will be practiced in the course. A successful nature immersion model allows for students to have choices, to be respected and trusted, and to take risks. Students will develop an understanding of risks vs. hazards as to prepare for and encourage safe risk taking in the outdoor classroom.
During this course, we experience place-based curriculum within which is the daily rhythm of the core routines. This daily rhythm mirrors the experience of elementary students during a typical day of ECO. Participants will close the week envisioning integration of the philosophies and practices that are built into a nature immersion experience. All lessons given to participants to use in their own classroom will be aligned to Vermont State Standards, Common Core and NGSS when applicable. Curriculum meets elementary standards-based objectives when lessons and units are practiced outdoors. Please leave all technology at home.
In teaching Educating Children Outdoors, we have three primary goals:
It is expected that all course participants will fully engage in the practices demonstrated of executing a nature immersion program. The ECO Institute courses are held entirely outdoors and it is essential that all participants come prepared each day to be outdoors. A list of needed clothing and gear will be provided upon registration. Participants will complete their final course assignment by July 26, 2019 and otherwise adhere to all current university guidelines regarding course policies.
Castleton charges the same tuition rate whether an individual enrolls for graduate credit or decides to audit. The University registers all individuals accordingly and will produce online grade reports confirming their final grades and course participation.
Costs for required texts, if any, are not included in course tuition.
This written document shall include:
The final project is based on an in depth vision and exploration of one topic. Students will choose one book from the Resources list to use as a reference on which to base their project. This book should be read in full and referred to in the project. Please list it in the bibliography alongside any other resources used for the final project.
For this project, we will look for answers to all of the questions outlined at the end of the syllabus. Then we will look for any and all documents as well as explaining in writing who you needed on board for the project.
For instance, if you outline a site assessment, please submit the site assessment and document the conversations you have had with the principal and/or any and all involved parties on moving forward with eliminating hazards from the site. Include a map of the site, a schedule for hazards to be looked at, and contact information for each person you envision being a part of your site assessment, beginning to end. Include a map with your vision of risk-benefit opportunities (balancing log, slack line trees, fire pit location, jumping rock, etc.) and your vision of the layout of camp once hazards are addressed.
First draft of projects:
Final Product can be developed and handed in by July 26th. A grade will be submitted online at the Castleton Portal by August 31st.