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Opening Minds Early Education, Child Care, and School Age Conference & Expo


  • Sheraton Grand 301 East North Water Street Chicago, IL, 60611 United States (map)

I'll be joining Claire Warden at the Opening Minds Early Education, Child Care, and School Age Conference in Chicago as one of her U.S. Associate Trainers. Claire will kick off the session with a 1-hour overview of her Nature Pedagogy philosophy which is a nature-based approach to being with children inside, outside in play areas, and beyond into parks and forests. As Claire says, “Nature pedagogy is giving people an identity to be able to say that they are proud and skilled to learn with nature, anywhere in the world. Imagine Nature Pedagogues inspiring and connecting children, families and education across the globe, fabulous.” Other sessions will include:

Science: How does water move? Explore the properties of water; test theories of solid, liquids and gas as we create water systems in the room.

Technology: Why doesn’t the spider stick to the web? Use technology to look at the fascinating world of spiders and gecko feet to unlock how things stick.

Engineering: Who teaches a bird how to build a nest? Nature’s engineers are very skillful.  Explore how termites, bees and birds have amazing skills to be engineers, construct structures using nature as a provocation.

Math: Why is a banana curved? Is it possible that the natural world is actually mathematically designed?  Unlock the mysteries of spirals, curves and whorls.

In all the workshops you will:

  • Leave the sessions with more enthusiasm, knowledge and skills than when you came in!
  • Understand how to make scientific thinking visible through Floorbooks and Talking Tubs™
  • Have an awareness of how to respond to children’s interests and fascinations
  • Be able to see how to help children progress in their theories and ideas through the expressive arts
  • Receive a Nature Passport to share with others as a record of the thinking you have done at the start of your Journey into Nature to learn about S.T.E.A.M.

For more information or to register click here.

More about Claire Warden, B.ED (Hons):

International educational consultant, working across Australia, Canada, USA and Europe.
Founder of International Association of Nature Pedagogy & MD Mindstretchers Ltd

Claire’s approach to Nature Kindergartens has earned her international recognition as a pioneer in educational thinking. Her respect for children and families runs through the Floorbook approach that is used within Nature Pedagogy to incorporate children’s voices into intentional teaching. Claire Warden is one of the world’s leading consultants and writers on the use of consultative methods in education.

The centre for excellence she has set up in the UK is renowned for Auchlone Nature Kindergarten and the consultative Floorbooks used there.  Her own learning pathway as a teacher, involves working in a wide variety of settings (2-18 years), mentoring and advisory work, authoring over 14 books and designing resources and landscapes.

Claire is an international advisor to the Children and Nature Network, World Forum Foundation and the International School Grounds Group. She was voted Exceptional Master Leader in the field of Early Care and Education, is a Visiting Fellow at Strathclyde University and is currently engaged in a PhD exploring Nature Pedagogy.