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UMF leads the way in nature-based education in Maine with inaugural summer institute

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FARMINGTON Leading the way in nature-based education in Maine, the University of Maine at Farmington is excited to announce its inaugural Nature-Based Education Summer Institute. This professional development opportunity is designed to introduce both educators-in-training and those with extensive experience in the field to the growing movement where children learn developmentally appropriate curriculum based on their sense of wonder about nature.

This full-day conference will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, June 25, beginning with registration in the North Dining Hall in UMF's Olsen Student Center. According to Patti Bailie, UMF assistant professor of early childhood education, the workshops will help educators connect to nature and connect nature to their classrooms.

The featured keynote is David Sobel, noted educator and leader in the place-based education movement. Through his writing, speaking and teaching, Sobel has played a major role in promoting the way students learn about their environment and their place in it.

His areas of expertise include, developmentally appropriate environmental education, place-based education, inquiry science, mapmaking with children, cognitive development and developmental theory, school improvement, children and nature and parenting with nature. He is a longtime faculty member in the Education Department at Antioch University New England.

Registrants can select a Saturday morning and afternoon workshop held in a number of natural settings in which they'll learn how nature-based education benefits children and adults. Workshop sessions are offered on a variety of topics, including, gardening and environmental stewardship, moving from play to nature-based curriculum, designing for natural play, exploring the natural world as artists, history can be found in the woods and more. Lunch featuring locally grown food will be provided.

On Friday, June 24, additional nature-based activity sessions will be also be available to registrants. These will include experiencing a working homestead, nature writing on the Sandy River and exploring local trails in the Carrabassett Valley. Participants should bring their own picnic lunch.

Space is limited on both days, so please submit your registration and payment soon to reserve your space. For cost, registration forms and more information on all sessions, please visithttp://nbeconference.weebly.com/.

For more information, contact Johanna Prince, director of UMF graduate programs in education, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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