EdenAcres Environmental Education
Education · Environment · Community
Nature Is Our Classroom
Fostering the development of the whole child through emergent and child-centered learning, play, exploration, and discovery in the natural world.
Pedagogy & Philosophy
Children are intrinsically motivated to learn. They do so through play and exploring the world around them. Abundant time in natural settings yields long-term benefits in children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. On top of all that, nature is the perfect place to learn about the world we live in. The natural world provides the living context in which to learn about cycles, interdependence, energy and resources, scale and limits, diversity, succession, and sustainability. Our programs are a space where children can explore the natural world & learn to ask relevant questions, develop problem-solving skills & processes for thinking and searching for answers, & learn how to live, work, & communicate cooperatively.
We create a setting where children can grow into citizens of the world; respecting all cultures, creatures, and environments. Our curriculum emerges from each child’s unique needs and aptitudes that provide children with the skills they need to be prepared for a rapidly changing world. Children learn to self-regulate and navigate interactions with friends and others. We maintain a high child-to-staff ratio so children have more opportunities for meaningful interaction. In all of our nature immersion programs, we create an atmosphere where children can explore the natural world, learn to ask relevant questions, develop problem-solving skills, and learn how to live, work, and communicate cooperatively.
In order to capture a diverse array of interests as well as provide multiple perspectives on human interactions with nature, we offer experiences across a broad range of themes. Our child-centered, emergent curriculum uses these themes to guide projects and activities while flowing through a seasonal rhythm.
The Natural World
Examine ecosystems, watersheds, soils, plants and wildlife through scientific inquiry
Garden to Table
Explore cultural connections to land and place through growing, foraging, preparing and sharing food
Engage in creative design for a future in which natural resources are used responsibly
Health and Well-being
Eat well, live actively, develop self-awareness, and build community
These themes resonate through seasonal rhythms and hands-on projects.
Emergent Learning - Children are naturally curious, asking questions and discovering the world around them through their senses, play, and exploration. Our curriculum is responsive to children’s interests in order to create meaningful learning experiences.
Emotional & Physical Safety - We create safe places where children can thrive while being able to engage in reasonable risk-taking during play.
Families - Families carry and pass down their wisdom from generation to generation. We honor the beautiful diversity of families and encourage family involvement through participation in annual celebrations and festivals, volunteering, and family classes, workshops, and events.
Excellence - We use methods and practices that are evidence-based and supported by quality data in order to cultivate learning. Our staff are educated and experienced in a variety of areas that enable a diverse learning experience.
Nurturing Individuality - Your little ones are unique. We embrace and encourage each child’s uniqueness by providing kids with a variety of experiences and choices. Our educators work hard to inspire and nurture individuality, one connection at a time.
Equity in Education - We strive to create a safe and equitable space for all children and staff to be able to be their best selves. We define equity as the opportunity for every individual to have the ability to reach their full potential. Our definition of equity encompasses race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nation of origin, ability and alterability/disability, language, experiences, education, socioeconomic status, social/emotional or developmental experience, and physical appearance. We live out this value by providing a warm, nurturing, inclusive and child-centered environment and through our multi tiered fee model. Our fee model seeks to ensure access no matter a families economic circumstances.