Blandford Nature Center works to assist early childhood teachers in learning how to use the natural environment to instruct students in science inquiry in an interdisciplinary, experiential way, using authentic outdoor learning experiences, to raise student achievement.
“There is simply no other engine for learning than experience, a word used to describe the active creation of meaning.”
Students experience all the time–it’s what humans do–so ensuring that the environment in which they learn and move and find out who they are is one that is complex, sensory, intentional, full of patterns, beautiful, and rich with potential is the great gift we as educators have. And what is more pattern-rich, sensory, and gloriously beautiful than the outdoors? When we shift from manufacturing an environment for learning to creating meaning in an environment that has always existed and has meaning as a neighborhood place to our students, we fuel an engine of learning that will have lasting, lifelong positive effects on each person and on the broader community in which we all live and move and create our sense of self.
In the classroom, we say that the sky is the limit for learning. In the outdoors, the sky is just the beginning.”
Dr. Carol Lautenbach
Asst. Supt. of Teaching, Learning, and Accountability
Godfrey-Lee Public Schools