Aims of our conference:
Raise awareness and draw attention to educational issues in countries that are seeking to expand Nature Pedagogy in education.
Create a global meshwork of unconditional support and advice for nature pedagogues around the world.
Offer provocations for practice to widen our collective understanding of how we can help children play and learn with nature.
Key benefits of our conference:
Gain powerful and inspiring insights from our experienced speakers and global conversation facilitators.
Over 7 hours of professional development and certificate of completion.
Support sustainability with a low carbon footprint.
Accessible everywhere, watch at a time and place to suit you.
High quality and affordable professional development.
Support others - conference profits go to local nature-based not-for-profit organisations that are making a difference to children.
SPEAKERS & FACILITATORS
Dr Claire Warden, Scotland UK
Claire reflects on time spent with children in forests, the bush and the jungle. She considers the unobservable connection between children and trees and investigates why humans feel this connection. Claire explains that the underlying themes and principles of nature pedagogy connect all of us into a global civilisation no matter where in the world we are. Trees are a part of this civilisation. Understanding your sense of place and respecting the knowledge and experience of the first nations peoples is fundamental to nature pedagogy. Why do trees inspire and fascinate children? How can we nurture children’s learning through their relationship with trees in a sustainable way? How can we encourage and support children to investigate the unobservable nature of trees and prompt deeper philosophical conversations between adults and children?
Dr Claire Warden is an International Education Consultant and Advisor, working across Australia, USA, Canada, Asia and Europe.
Founder of the International Association of Nature Pedagogy and CEO of Claire Warden Ltd and Mindstretchers Ltd.
Claire has developed her approach to nature pedagogy and experiential learning through a variety of experiences including primary teaching, advisory work, lecturing in further education and development of the award winning Auchlone Nature Kindergarten in Scotland.
Claire works with governments around the world to create high quality nature-based models of education for children furthered by the art of learning with nature inside, outside and beyond. Claire is an international advisor to the Children and Nature Network, World Forum Foundation and the International School Grounds Group.
Claire was voted Exceptional Master Leader in the field of Early Care and Education, is a visiting Fellow at Strathclyde University, Scotland, a board member of the Natural Heritage Advisory group for the National Trust for Scotland and is currently engaged in a PhD exploring Nature Pedagogy.
Claire is an author of many books and materials relating to early years including ‘The Potential of a Puddle’ which details UK national vision and values for outdoor play; ‘Talking and Thinking Floorbooks’ which presents the planning methodology that supports consultation and democracy in early education and Claire’s latest book – Learning with Nature – Embedding Outdoor Practice which is rapidly gaining a place as required reading on many academic courses.
Juliana Gatti, Brazil
Juliana is Manager of the Integrative Pediatrics Unit and Coordinator responsible for Nature Appreciation Therapies at IPU. National Early Childhood Network Fellow at the World Leader Foundation's Global Leader for Young Children program. MSC in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development by ESCAS - IPÊ (Higher School of Environmental Conservation and Sustainability of the Institute for Ecological Research). Researcher in the area of quality of life and well-being through contact with nature at the Integrative Pediatrics Unit of the Hospital das Clinicas da Faculty of Medicine of University of Sao Paulo Children's Institute. Creator of the Living Trees Institute for Conservation and Environmental Culture. Executive Director of the social company Árvore Vivas Ecological Products and Services. She has been working for 15 years with actions to raise awareness and reconnect children and society with nature through cultural, environmental and health projects.
"The Children and Trees Connection"
Juliana will give you an insight into the work she has been involved in for the past 13 years within Brazil, promoting the children and trees connection. She will explain a variety of activities she uses to help society to be closer to nature, developing cultural identity, empathy, affection, perceptions and values related to nature. Juliana aims to inspire a deeper understanding of the human connection to nature, wherever you are in the world, from the Brazilian rain forest to urban areas where nature may not be so obvious at first viewing. Nature is indeed all around us. As adults, educators, facilitators, parents and care givers we have a responsibility to give our children the right to be in touch with nature so they can develop a positive relationship with it. Over time they will learn that nature can support their well being and improve the quality of their lives and understand the importance of nurturing and protecting it because ‘we are all nature’.
Dr Rita de Cácia Oenning da Silva, Brazil
Rita de Cácia Oenning da Silva, born in the interior of Santa Catarina, daughter of farmers, grew up in a city of interior in constant contact with nature. Mother of Helena Iara, 09 years old. PhD in Anthropology by the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology of UFSC, SC (2008), with the thesis: Overcoming the Movement: Ethnography of Pirráias performances in Recife and beyond. Master in Social Anthropology from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (1998). She was a Fellow of the Wenner-Gren Foundation (USA), 2007. She has experience in Anthropology, with emphasis on visual anthropology and art, populations from peripheries, anthropology of performance, kinship in popular layers, especially making an anthropology of and with children. She has been working with ethnographic films with peripheral and indigenous populations since 2005 and has been working with anthropology of infants. She has done post-doctoral studies (2012-2013) at the PPGAS-UFSC in association with the Center for Art, Culture and Society in Latin America and the Caribbean (MUSA) with a degree in the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, working with performances (musicals, narratives and indigenous children in the Rio Negro. As Executive Director Shine a Light and Usina da Imaginação has been dedicated to coordinating projects on early childhood and development and directing ethnographic films. The CanalCanoa project produces audiovisual material and shows in Amazonian indigenous communities, in the Projeto Pirilampo Criativo, which coordinates a campaign for early childhood in the city of Recife. The FavelaNews project produces several films focusing on community life in the outskirts of Recife, where they have already made different films. In partnership with Ponte productions she directed a film that deals with childhood and the possibility of meeting and playing in the city of Recife. She has just returned from Rio Negro, where she produced and directed in the project CanalCanoa, a film about childhood and nature with the indigenous community Tukano and Desana, in Rio Negro.
"Perspectives from the Amazon - The symbiotic relationship between children and trees"
Rita provides a fascinating insight into the natural and constant relationship that Amazonian children have with trees. They learn from an early age that many trees are valuable sources of food and shelter. So, trees have a serious side, but they also provide immense fun for children as they learn to climb and jump from them. With the support of adults and older children, younger children are their own risk assessors and know their limits naturally. Amazonian children learn the science of living safely within their surroundings and which trees are most receptive to them. Rita also gives an insight into indigenous people and their view and relationship with nature and trees. She reflects on her own relationship with trees as well as an interesting project she was involved in, where they connected children living in the Amazon with children living in the city.
Ra’ed Abu Hayyaneh, Jordan & Canada
"Trees and Ecosystem"
Raed will share his ideas, research and experience of the ecosystem and nature conservation. He will reflect on the current challenges to the forests of Jordan and the world. Raed will explain the importance of trees to the global community, world ecosystem and human and wildlife health. Conservation is a human responsibility and he explains some strategies that can support sustainability. Environmental education is very important to develop a world population that is aware of and concerned about the environment. Raed will share ideas for interactive ecosystem activities that can be implemented in your daily lives to encourage children to become conservationists and support the future of our planet.
Ra’ed Abu Hayyaneh acquired a B.SC degree in Environment and Geology from Yarmouk University and pursued a prestigious master’s degree from Huddersfield University, the UK in Environmental Education and Human Resources Development. Abu Hayyaneh has also a set of high-status professional certificates including the TOT and the PMP. Moreover, Abu Hayyaneh gained regional experience while working as an Environmental Awareness specialist at the WHO – United Nations in Iraq, Yemen, and MENA region Enriching and broadening. He has long experience in both formal and nonformal Environmental Education and Awareness programs during his with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). Abu Hayyaneh is a member of NAAEE, OLF, and board member at the Environmental Studies Association of Canada.
Dr Vera Melis Paolillo, Brazil
"Nature Education – How to become a nature teacher organizing learning opportunities for early childhood education."
Vera will introduce the importance of nature in children’s lives, discuss the positive impact of nature education for children’s holistic development and share ideas and tips for activities in indoor and outdoor environments. The role of teachers and family will be investigated, and you’ll gain an insight into learning strategies that stimulate children and support early childhood teachers to become confident nature teachers.
Vera Melis Paolillo is a Professor, Pedagogist, PhD and Master in Education. Specialist and researcher on childhood and learning spaces. Coordinates and implements training programs for early education professionals. Vera completed post-doctoral internships at Bottega de Geppetto (San Miniato, Italy) coordinating study exchanges in Italy, Finland and the USA. Educational consultant for public and private day care and kindergarten spaces and professional teams. Consultant for companies, institutes and foundations to elaborate and implement programs and projects. UNESCO Office Coordination in São Paulo for 5 years as well as a university teaching career and responsibility for the coordination of postgraduate courses, coordinator and supervisor of the Master’s program. Vera has represented Brazil in the World Forum Foundation since 2000.The first Brazilian to be named Global Leader for Young Children, by an international collegiate. Member of the Board of Directors of AABRi (Brazilian Association of Toys) and the Advisory Board of the Pátio Early Childhood Magazine. Member of the UNICAMP/IA Research Group. Creation, design and education processes. Created program for EAD Courses on Education. Author of books and articles on Early childhood and Nature education.
ADDITIONAL FACILITATORS FOR GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS
Briony Brooks, Australia
Briony has been teaching and leading in various SA Preschools and Children’s Centres over the past 20 years. Her experience in facilitating opportunities for children to connect with the land and the natural environment has influenced the vision and values of each centre she has led, with children having opportunities to explore and learn in environments inside, outside and beyond. In her role as a Claire Warden Associate trainer she has worked with sites and teams to develop their understanding of pedagogy, documentation of learning, and using the natural world as a tool for learning, where children build connections with the world around them, learning with and through nature.
Rachel A. Larimore, USA
Rachel is an educator, speaker, consultant, and author of three books including Establishing a Nature-Based Preschool and Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning.
Prior to establishing Samara Early Learning, Rachel founded one of the nation’s earliest nature-based preschools at Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) in Midland, MI. The creation of the preschool in 2007 was part of her 15-year tenure as the Director of Education. She continued as the director of the program until 2016 when, at her departure, the program served 140 children each year through public and private funding sources. In her tenure at CNC she also co-chaired the Nature Center’s $6 million capital expansion project, which was completed in 2010. The expansion included an approximately 5,000 square foot LEED Gold Certified preschool building. During her time at CNC, Rachel led the creation of a partnership with Bullock Creek Schools to create a nature-based kindergarten and first grade within the public school system.
Rachel is a doctoral student in Michigan State University’s Department of Teacher Education; received a M.A. in Park and Recreation Administration from Central Michigan University; and a B.S. in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism, with an emphasis in interpretation, from Colorado State University. Rachel has been recognized for her work by various organizations including the National Association for Interpretation Region 4’s in 2012 with the “Master Interpretive Manager” recognition; First State Bank’s “RUBY Award” in 2013 for professionals under the age of 40; and Exchange Magazine in 2015 with the “Promising Early Care and Education Leader” award.