JULY 8-12, 2019 (Intro Credential)
JULY 15-19, 2019 (Intermediate)
AUGUST 5-9, 2019 (Intro Credential)
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting.
See photos from the first cohort of teachers to participate in the course, July 9-13, 2018 in Baltimore, MD.
About this Nature-Based Teacher Certification
The introductory certification course covers a range of skills and approaches crucial to implementing nature-based early childhood pedagogy. Topics include: working in and with the local landscape; risk management and safety routines; developmentally appropriate practice outside; emergent curriculum; licensing considerations; outdoor inquiry, literacy, creative arts, math, and games; making learning visible through documentation and assessment; breathing nature in classroom spaces; gear, supplies, and tools; honing naturalist skills and personal sense of wonder; and ways to support your learning community. We will also touch on relevant research, standards, NAEYC positions statements, and policy that impacts delivery of nature-based ECE.
Participants may also earn two (2) graduate credits from the University of Maryland, College Park for this certification as titled, "Nature Pedagogy in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education". Additional registration and fees are required through UMD for credit in addition to ERAFANS registration. UMD registration deadline forthcoming.
We gather from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, with an altered schedule on Thursday which includes morning observations from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in addition to afternoon sessions and an evening campfire (until 8:30 p.m.). Yoga is included on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7:45 a.m. Complete schedule and training agenda will be provided upon registration.
How do I obtain Nature-based Teacher Certification status?
1) Complete the course, which is a live training event. (Sorry, an online option is not available. Because of its depth and significance, we don't believe an online offering can replace the value of a live training experience for certification.) Successful completion is determined by:
Active participation and attendance for the full training
Completion of assignments including journaling/reflective practice, readings, and action plans
Demonstrate thorough understanding of nature-based education and pedagogy based on training experiences
2) Proof of completion of early childhood training, often referred to as a 90 hour certification OR the equivalent Child Development Associate (CDA) credential
. This ensures that participants have basic knowledge of early childhood education principles, which is required to work in any licensed setting. NOTE: For educators working in non-formal and unlicensed settings, this may be waived.
3) Proof of current Infant/Child First Aid and CPR
We will provide a training certificate at the conclusion of the course, provided you have submitted all documentation.
Who should attend?
Educators, administrators, and child care providers are ideal participants for the Nature-based Teacher Certification. Others who could benefit include: parents, camp leaders, church leaders, retired teachers, scout leaders, after school youth programmers, etc. The course is designed for practitioners working in a range of learning environments including nature preschools, forest kindergartens, traditional preschools, public schools, childcare centers, or daycare settings. Participants will consider their unique locations to determine how to make the most of their indoor and outdoor learning environments.
Who are the trainers?
Experienced nature-based educators and naturalists from across the region share their knowledge throughout the course. You can count on outstanding expertise throughout the week-long experience. More presenters being confirmed now for the next course!
Meals & Accommodations
Five-day course includes daily breakfast and lunch, Monday-Friday, with lunch and dinner only on Thursday. You can specify allergies and/or meal preferences when you register. Please be sure to bring your own canteen to use throughout the week.
About this location
We are scouting locations for up-coming courses now. Check back to learn more!
For additional information, contact the director, Monica Wiedel-Lubinski.
Summer 2018 session SOLD OUT. Spaces are limited for up-coming courses!