Get inspired to return to working with children in our natural environments through this virtual workshop. Join keynote speaker Colleen Million and faculty from the Teton Science Schools to learn about and discuss gardening with children in the context of nature-based and Reggio Emilia-inspired teaching and learning. Ideas for engaging children remotely will also be discussed.
10 am – 12 pm
Up to 2 Wyoming or Idaho STARS hours available.
Virtual Place-based Education Symposium available for Friday evening, April 24.
In Mud keynote speaker in 2020 will be Colleen Million from Antioch University Santa Barbara.
Children in our Mother’s Garden ~ Nurturing a child’s sense of belonging in the natural world.
It is critically important that we connect children to the garden.
Why, you may ask, the garden?
It is because the garden is a unique intersection between the natural world and the human world. It is the place where we grow what we eat. The garden is a living place where elements of the wild complexity that is nature are available at a scale and in a manner that is personal and relatable to the child. A place where all the aspects of the child are freed to be discovered and experienced, allowing, in an atmosphere of limited behavioral rules, creative questioning and experimentation.
Colleen Million is a recently retired elementary school principal and school teacher of 21 years. As a principal she implemented a restorative approach to discipline, school-wide empathy practices and parent education classes on English language acquisition, health, food/nutrition/gardening, empathy, and restorative justice. As an elementary school teacher she was intentional about designing units of study for students in grades Kindergarten-6th grade that focused on developing healthy self-esteem (SEL) through a thematic project-place-based constructivist learning approach with an emphasis on the Ethical Trinity, “Taking Care of Yourself, Taking Care of Each Other, Taking Care of This Place.” The Ethical Trinity became the guiding principle in the work that she did with students and families, which supported the values and modeling that she expressed in her interactions with children and thus created a safe place for learning. Whether students were out on Ellwood Mesa coastal bluffs exploring the natural habitat of the flora and fauna or back at the school site, tending the Monarch butterfly garden, feeding the worms, collecting eggs from their chickens, or harvesting crops in the garden, the ethic of care was intentionally woven into the instructional tapestry. She also dedicated years of service to land preservation, which culminated in the Saving of Ellwood Mesa, an overwintering site for the Monarch Butterflies in the school’s backyard on the Ellwood Bluffs in Goleta, CA. She is currently the Co-Director of Teacher Education at Antioch University, Santa Barbara, where she supports and mentors teacher candidates, teaches social science methods, and nature-based early childhood curriculum courses.