Te Whariki in nature
Brought to you by Wendy, Lynn and Lorraine
Saturday 28 July 2018
|9:00am-10:30am:||Back to nature, presented by Lynn Rupe|
|11:00am-12:30pm:||Forest Farm adventures, presented by Lorraine Sands|
|1:15pm-2:45pm:||Capturing the spirit of the outdoors, presented by Wendy Lee|
|2.45pm-3:15pm:||Questions, responses, Poroporoaki|
What do we have our roots in? What is New Zealand culture? What do we value? What makes us unique? What is all the fuss about green? Guy Claxton talks about rock and water thinkers - the rock thinker lament over the obstacles in the way and think if only we could. Water thinkers find the gaps and go for it anyway. What is it that we truly value about Aotearoa and the opportunities it allows for children? When I talk with teachers often the answer to this question is our love of outdoors. The question is then; are children experiencing enough of the great outdoors?
In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. This research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. Experiencing nature assists children with their holistic development. Come and discuss why experiencing a natural outdoor environment is vital to children’s holistic development. Look at what is possible lift our view from the rock, find the gaps and go for it anyway.
“I’m never, ever going to give up, on my life!” This resilient comment was heard from a young child climbing a steep bank in our ngahere. It was a difficult climb and yet not one of the nine children and two teachers on this adventure ever thought it was impossible. In the forest, week after week, resilience, resourcefulness, kindheartedness, courage and collaboration are the characteristics we see grow.
During this session we share the stories that contribute to these learning identities as children tackle challenge, assess risk and make decisions about their learning during our farm/forest adventures at Greerton Early Childhood Centre. We look too at the risk benefit analyses and the practical ways the teaching team at Greerton, over the last 5 years, have made these weekly visits possible.
Many ECE environments currently lack connection with nature and we know that children who do not experience nature and the outdoors are very unlikely to develop an affinity for and protect the environment in the future. We therefore have a responsibility to be powerful advocates for reconnecting children the outdoors, both within the setting and beyond the walls of the setting. One of the most effective ways of doing this is the day-to-day documentation of the learning in your setting.
I believe that Learning Story philosophy provides a powerful vehicle to not only build the learner identity of the child, but also to create opportunities for you to be a powerful advocate for the outdoors. Bring two or three ‘outdoor’ Learning Stories to share, there will also be opportunities for you to consider how you might develop your advocacy role within these Learning Stories.