Some Excellent Websites Related to Outdoor/experiential/place-based Education
According to its website: “The Children &
Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and
organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with
nature. The network provides a critical link between
researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to
children's health and well-being. C&NN also promotes fundamental
institutional change and provides resources for sharing information, strategic
initiatives and success stories.” In my
opinion, this site is the most comprehensive website for information about
reconnecting children (and adults) with nature. By all means, give it a visit!
The Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO) is the statewide professional organization for persons interested in promoting outdoor/environmental education and related areas of learning. The organization sponsors a statewide conference each spring and provides a wide range of additional resources and events.
This is an excellent site that highlights evaluation data concerning place-based education.
This is an amazingly detailed website created by James Thomas Neill. The site covers a wide range of topics, some of which include experiential learning, outdoor education, adventure education and group dynamics. The site is especially useful to those interested in adventure or challenge education. If you visit this site, be sure to take some time to explore several of the links and sub-pages that are there. The amount of information here is staggering.
This is a publication of the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF). On its website, the organization describes itself as : “Chartered by Congress in 1990, The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing environmental education in its many forms.”
The report mentioned above describes a collection of case studies from across the country that document the effectiveness of environment-based education. The studies “document current evidence supporting the premise that, compared to traditional educational approaches, environmental-based education improves academic performance across the curriculum.”
This document can provide very useful data and rationale for convincing those who may be skeptical that the use of the outdoors can have an impact upon instruction.
The SEER site provides a good review of studies that have been done to analyze the impact of using the environment as a learning context.
According to its website:
“Green Teacher is a non-profit organization which publishes resources to help educators, both inside and outside of schools, to promote global and environmental awareness among young people from elementary through high school. The organization’s primary activity is the publication of Green Teacher, a quarterly magazine full of teaching ideas from successful “green” educators. Each issue of Green Teacher offers perspectives on the role of education in creating a sustainable future, practical cross-curricular activities for various grade levels, and reviews of the latest teaching resources.”
The Green Teacher magazine is excellent – filled with articles primarily written by practitioners who provide specific activities and teaching techniques. The organization also publishes several outstanding books, including Greening School Grounds: Creating Habitats for Learning. The “Teaching Green” series also has individual books describing teaching activities for the elementary, middle and high school levels. The website listed above provides the opportunity to view the table of contents of each publication—a real help when deciding whether to purchase a book.
This is a multi-faceted program that uses seasonal change as a major organizer. Such phenomena as length of day, the appearance of flowers, or the flight of a butterfly are used as the focal points for data collection and research experiences.
“Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the highest numbers of each species they see at their feeders from November through early April. FeederWatch helps scientists track broad scale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
Project FeederWatch is operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in partnership with the National Audubon Society, Bird Studies Canada, and Canadian Nature Federation.”
Audubon has a wide range of educational materials . The Audubon Adventures environmental education program is designed for grades 3-6 and utilizes resource kits including student nature news magazines and classroom resource and activity information. The kits are multi-disciplinary, primarily utilizing science, mathematics and the language arts.
Audubon also developed the “First Field Guides” series for ages eight and older. Finding easy to use field guides for children can be a challenge, but these guides are designed with kids in mind. There are twelve books in the series. The complete listing can be found here: