Eliza Minnucci, a kindergarten teacher at the Ottauquechee School in central Vermont, turns the woods next to the elementary school into her classroom every Monday. Rain or shine, for the entire school year, her students are outside learning lessons you can’t teach under fluorescent light.
“Kids are so resourceful out here,” says Minnucci. “In the classroom, we chunk everything into small pieces. We teach them discrete skills and facts and they put it together later. That’s a good way to learn, but it’s not the way the world works,” she says. “I like giving them the opportunity to be in a really complex place where they need to think about how to build a dam with a peer and at the same time, think about staying dry and staying warm.”
Forest Kindergartens have existed in Germany, Sweden and Denmark for decades. Minnucci, inspired by School’s Out, a documentary which chronicled one full school year at Switzerland’s forest school Langnau am Albis, is proving the case for adopting such programs here in the US. And so far, students and parents agree.
How much outside time do your kids get at school? Would you opt for a Forest School program?
Read the full article on NPR: Out Of The Classroom And Into The Woods : NPR Ed : NPR