Thanks to a partnership with the Morris Arboretum, CHC education majors have a beautiful natural environment in which to learn to create a nurturing classroom environment.
Debra Chiaradonna, Ph.D., assistant professor of education and chair of Education Department, established this outreach program for education majors with representatives of the arboretum in the summer of 2015. The program exposes pre-service teachers to the benefits of field trips as a way of incorporating botanical and environmental information into their classroom lessons.
“For me, it is about the importance of the environment and the principles of how children learn from it,” says Chiaradonna. “The classroom is an environmental relationship that teachers are responsible for developing with their students, and this collaboration is a perfect fit.”
Throughout the course, the CHC students learn important information about ecology, the environment, botany and best teaching practices. They conduct hands-on, child-centered activities and learn the theories of learning and teaching framed around the environment.
“The students all agree that learning about the environment and being in it helps them create an environment conducive to learning," says Chiaradonna.