A proposal: Connecting Children with Nature on an international scale

“The child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable” Richard Louv 2005 (USA)

Let’s tackle conservation and environmental issues from the ground up – by facilitating children’s interaction and appreciation of nature through practical experience. Conservation and environmental issues become secondary benefits, developed by them.

How can we do this?

Our small town in the south [of New Zealand] already is.

Fiordland Kindergarten is already a trailblazer with its nature discovery program, pioneering and constantly developing an nature inspiring outdoor education programme, with 8 more kindergartens in Southland now on board. Kids restore the Kepler is showing our school aged children how we can make a real difference to conservation within an area. The Fiordland Conservation Trust are working from the ground up to facilitate real relationships between corporations and conservation.

Can we share this information?

Of Course!!!! If we can also add in the wealth of knowledge and practices from other organizations that share similar philosophies, the conference will have relevance to all the education sectors.


The Proposal

With the help of likeminded organizations, Southland Kindergarten Association and friends would like to welcome all levels of educators from around the globe for a weekend of education, ideas and inspiration on how to help integrate nature into their curriculum, whether on a local or government level.

What will we offer?

Internationally recognized key note speakers from around the globe, interactive and practical sessions on how to implement the ideas given in awe inspiring Fiordland.


This is dependent on availability of speakers but April 2014 is proposed at this stage.

Who will we offer it to?

At this stage it is thought that the key marketing would go to all educators from 0 – 18 around New Zealand and Australia, there is no reason why we couldn’t widen the net further if appropriate. All Department of Conservation educators, as well as relevant Government representatives should also be invited to attend.

What we want from your organization?

To discuss the options of working with your organization to enable us to maximize the potential of the conference.

Thank you.

Jo Marsh
Education Coordinator, Kids Restore the Kepler
Fiordland Conservation Trust, 28 Acheron Way, Te Anau, Southland 9600
“This has to be the most inspiring project on the planet”, Ruud Kleinpaste – the ‘Bugman’

“I have always had a belief that children who experience “Being” in Nature playing and learning alongside their peers and with the guidance of an interested adult will become “nature literate”. If we want the best possible future for our children and our environment we need to give them the opportunity and time to connect with nature in its wildest forms, a place where they can build emotional and physical resilience – they need to love the Earth before we ask them to want to care and protect it. Then they will become true nga kaitiaki (guardians) of our whenua (land).(Claire Maley-Shaw, Fiordland Kindergarten 2012)


Discovery, Wonder, and Amazement‘ http://www.flickr.com/photos/9495733@N05/1366664930 Found on flickrcc.net

About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ (http://www.ethosconsultancynz.com/). I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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