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Inside – Outside: Promising Practices in Nature- and Place-based Elementary Education

October 27, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT

$50 – $125
Inside-Outside Conference

Join us for this day-long conference for educators who are redefining what’s possible in elementary education. As we build school programs around place-based social studies, outdoor science lessons, Forest Fridays and more, we’re connecting children to the natural world, local communities and big ideas.

Inside-Outside Program

Morning Keynote:

Wall-less-ness: Breaking Down the Barriers to Innovative Education

Paul Bocko, Teaching Faculty, Education Department, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH
Aimee Arandia Østensen, Professional Learning Associate, Education Department, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT

Nature- and place-based education done well can break down the barriers between schools and community. Wall-less-ness as a concept was identified by educators at the Green School in Bali, Indonesia. Their idea was that wall-less-ness is removing physical and figurative barriers to sustainability education. Playing with terminology around nature- and place-based education can help us make sure we are not complacent in our vision for education, but adaptive to the ever-changing context of schools and communities. Paul and Aimee believe that wall-less-ness describes education that opens doors and breaks down barriers in order to playfully access context-rich learning that integrates the natural, built and cultural environment.

Paul and Aimee will share in presenting their take on wall-less-ness and how it has impacted their professonal practice. Each will also share specific examples of wall-less-ness in images, stories and discussion.

Afternoon Key-NOT:

Our afternoon program (pun intended) begins with a Key-Not! Cheryl Charles, Director of Antioch’s Nature-based Leadership Institute and co-founder of the Children and Nature Network will facilitate a discussion that links to the theme of wall-less-ness. Come with positive stories to share about your work teaching about nature to children, both inside and outside!

Morning Workshops:

Droppers, Poppers, and Passers: How Seeds Get to Where They’re Going
Vanessa Stern, 5th grade Teacher, Union Street School, Springfield, VT

Water Wheels: An Engineering Design Challenge
Sarah Boehm, Science Teacher, Community Day Chater Public School, Lawrence, MA

Caterpillars: Misconceptions and Metamorphosis
Sam Jaffe, The Caterpillar Lab, Marlborough, NH

Creativity in the ARTdoors
Sarah Wilson, Environmental Artist, Admissions, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH

Nature Writing: Connecting Students to the Natural World and their Local Community
Betsy Stacey, Monadnock Place-based Education Committee and Keene, Midde School, Keene, NH

Unearthing History
Jason Lovett and Adam Altshuler, Kindle Farm, Newfane, VT

Afternoon Workshops

There Are Birds in Your Neighborhood
Polly Pattison, Teacher/Naturalist, The Harris Center for Conservation Education, Hancock, NH
Andy Dube, Franklin Elementary School, Keene, NH

Sense of Place through Art and Song
John Bass, Art Teacher, and Peter Siegel, Music Teacher, Symonds Elementary School, Keene, NH

Science and Story: Enhancing Reading Comprehension through Integration
Deb Kardane, Teacher, Academy Elementary School, Brattleboro, VT

A Neighborhood River: Developing an In-Depth Integrated Study
Linda Donnelly, Elementary Curriculum & Learning Support Coordinator, The Common School, Amherst, MA

Chad Odwazny, Elementary 2 Teacher (grades 5 – 6), The Common School, Amherst, MA

Rise and Fall of Water Power: A Place-Based Historical Exploration
Laura White, Chesterfield Elementary School, Chesterfield, NH
Tricia Hurley, Cup of Life, Keene, NH

Writing Poetry in Nature
Leigh Anne Keichline, Teacher, Juniper Hill School for Place-based Education, Alna, ME


Workshop descriptions live in the Conference Brochure

Registration Costs

Registration will open after Labor Day!



Group Rates
$100 each (3 people from same school)

Annual Alumni

AUNE Students


October 27, 2018
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT
$50 – $125


Symonds Elementary School
79 Park Avenue
Keene, NH United States
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Peg Smeltz

Antioch University and Otterbein University Announce Intention to Form First-of-Kind National University System.

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