Engaging (Urban) Youth in Outdoor Education
Presenter: Keith Williams
Wednesday, January 13th 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
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Students are more disconnected from being outside than ever before which presents additional challenges to the outdoor educator. In addition students are distracted by electronics and numerous pop culture diversions. Urban students are especially removed from the natural world so that the simple act of being outside in the woods becomes a big deal. To be effective, environmental and outdoor education must be relevant for its constituents. This session will discuss theory and techniques for engaging even the toughest of students in the outdoors.
Keith Williams has an MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning. He has worked as an environmental biologist with the US Army, a firefighter paramedic apprentice with the Baltimore City Fire Department, a science teacher in Baltimore, a volunteer coordinator with Habitat for Humanity, and an outdoor education program manager before joining NorthBay 10 years ago. Keith started with NorthBay as a field educator and served as director of education for 7 years before becoming the Executive Director. North Bay’s mission is to challenge urban students in middle schools to realize that their attitudes and actions have a lasting impact on their future, the environment and the people around them. At North Bay, they use Common Core and Next Generation Science standards, character development, and the outdoors as an integrating context for their programs.
Taking Kids to the Community
Presenter: Bob Coulter
Wednesday, January 28th 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
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It takes a lot more energy, persistence, and vision to take your kids past the scripted curriculum and engage them in real-world, community-based work. In this information-packed webinar, Bob Coulter will be sharing his own experiences based on 30 years of direct work with kids, along with insights from two National Science Foundation-funded research projects he led that explored the ways in which teachers who get their kids out in the community are different: How they see their jobs, how they see learning, and how they see childhood. If you’re getting out in the community, you’re a star. Come see what makes you special, and pick up some research-based tips to expand your practice.
Bob Coulter is director of the Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Center is home base for a research and development group exploring ways to support place-based education, integration of technology with environmental experiences, and nature-based approaches to character development. The Center also partners with local environmental groups on urban ecology research and restoration projects. In an earlier life Bob was an award-winning elementary school teacher in Atlanta, Memphis, Boston, and St. Louis. His new book No More Robots: Building Kids Character, Competence, and Sense of Place was published recently by Peter Lang.