Ecologies of Childhood: Linking Place, Play and Pedagogy

A session to Support Your Nature Education Exploration and Forest School Inquiry with Sinéad Rafferty.

This hands-on, experiential workshop widened our consideration of early childhood communities to include the local land, flora, and fauna that exist in our surroundings – which are inextricably part of the fabric of children’s encounters with the world. Outdoor Preschools, Nature Kindergartens, and Forest Schools are leading the way in creating places where children play – and make meaning – with a wild array of ecological encounters. This session also highlighted pedagogical approaches drawn from place-based learning; environmental education, and principles of Forest School, in relation to familiar early learning frameworks, such as How Does Learning Happen? and how educators and children engage wonder and curiosity, while fostering care and concern for “nature”, were also considered.

“I enjoyed the information I received on how to enhance our outdoor play areas, taking risks, and taking materials outdoors.”
“I found the information regarding Forest School principles and values and how to incorporate these into my programming and intentions as an educator very meaningful.”