Calling all primary educators and childcare professionals

nature education

Join us and learn important tools to respond confidently and compassionately to the growing epidemic of eco-anxiety in our young people. Become part of a movement that prioritises a more wholesome and nature-connecting approach to education and helps our children to become empowered and hopeful

Recent statistics show that globally up to 80% of the population suffers from mental health symptoms related to the climate crisis.

A 2021 study by The Lancet on the effects of eco-anxiety and climate fear on children and young adults (aged 16-25) found that 59% were extremely worried and 84% were at least moderately worried. 

In this 4-week program, I will help you to learn effective tools and strategies to reduce eco-anxiety and help children you work with become empowered, hopeful and proactive.

Mindful Nature Education

Research shows that in order to develop a desire to protect and care for something, we must know and love it first. Childhood has changed considerably in the last few decades and true nature connection has taken a back seat in many children’s lives. This lack of immersive Nature experience stands in stark contrast to the onslaught of worrying information about the climate crisis. The consequences are a stark rise in climate-related mental health symptoms.

Outdoor experiences by their very Nature, pardon the pun, draw children into their bodies and sensations. Unfortunately, children in our times are encouraged to live in their heads much of the time which goes against their natural development and need to move, feel, experiment, take risks…

Education has the unique opportunity to nurture this loss by integrating curriculum content into a Nature context and help our children literally become more rooted again.

. “Nature Pedagogy” is defined quite differently throughout the world and often has various subcategories and educational approaches. There are many differentiations such as Forest Pedagogy, Experiential Nature Pedagogy, Experiential Pedagogy, Experience Based Learning, Nature Related Environmental Pedagogy etc. There are certain principles though which are commonly shared:

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Are you ready to help our children thrive in the midst of these challenging times?

1

Are you seeing an increase in symptoms relating to environmental challenges in the children you work with?

2

Are you sometimes feeling ill-equipped to respond to these symptoms of eco-anxiety and would like to learn new methods to help the children you work with?

3

Have you always felt that nature connection is a crucial element for education and mental health but you are unsure how to integrate it into your teaching practice?

4

Do you feel there is something fundamentally missing in the way we approach mental health challenges in our education system?

5

Are you working with children and young people who feel disillusioned, worried and hopeless about their future?

6

Would you like to learn more about how to integrate curriculum content into a Nature context?

7

Have you wondered about the connection between human and planetary health?

8

Are you concerned about the current challenges we are experiencing globally and would like to be part of a proactive and hopeful movement that addresses both human and planetary health from the ground up?

If you have answered “YES” to some of these questions and you are a childhood/education professional who wants to take action in a world that is in desperate need of change and hope, then this training is what you have been looking for.

I educate and support education professionals who are passionate about their work with children, and who put in relentless effort to support the education, health and well-being of the young people they work with. Come and find solutions for the new and emerging challenges of our times and build a better future for us all.

Alex Koster Ecotherapy

Hi, I am Alex.

I am a mum, teacher, nature educator and multi-award-winning author with a background in Education and Nature Connecting Approaches (read more here) and I am passionate about a more holistic approach to education!!

I have researched and studied the relationship between Nature Connection, health and education for over 20 years. In my work with children, in my studies and observations, I could see a widening gap between the decline in actual nature connection and a growing rise in mental health issues. Modern-day challenges and life circumstances often mean fewer opportunities for meaningful nature experiences. The rise of technology facilitates that even young children are exposed to media and information inappropriate for their age. Symptoms related to the climate crisis such as eco-anxiety are the norm and we should not accept this. Our education system is based on an outdated structure which was implemented at the time of the Industrial Revolution and in my opinion it does not respond coherently to the needs of our children today. Let’s learn about possibilities to change this situation.

I published my international multi-award-winning book Roots and Wings – Childhood needs a Revolution” in 2018 followed by a collection of Mindful Games in 2019.

Mindfulness Book for parents

Since then, I have been a speaker on multiple global conferences and summits in the areas of mindfulness and nature/climate education and I was published on various platforms such as A Lust for Life, Project Happiness, The Irish Independent or The Natural Parent Magazine.

I am also a climate ambassador with the Climate Ambassador Programme as I can only be authentic if I “put my money where my mouth is”! Children look up to us for guidance and leadership and it’s crucial that as adults we step up to the plate.

Our children get so much information about the climate crisis, both in a school setting as well as from numerous other sources, many of which are much too abstract for little minds and hearts. Children need immediate experiences to make sense of it all and  move forward with hope and optimism.

I have applied my experience of 20+ years in Education and Nature Connecting Approaches to create this 4-week program in which I want to teach you how to apply these tools in your work with children.

Welcome...

Welcome to a transformational 4-week program where you will learn creative, flexible and innovative tools that will help you and the children you work with navigate these challenging times with more ease, hope and action.

I am so excited to share this training with you and I can’t wait to introduce you to a wide range of methods and skills to draw from when integrating these approaches into your work with children.

Mindful Nature Pedagogy (MNP)

A 4-week CPD accredited  online training preparing you to respond proactively and confidently to challenges in your work with children including:
Children and Nature Network

4 week in-depth training

The weekly modules are covering a wide range of topics, introducing you to a flexible, creative and holistic approach. It also highlights the history and background, illustrating why nature connection approaches should be seen as a crucial part of education. All content is research-based and offers a wide range of resources ready to be used.

Support and Community

Self-paced and fully online to suit your lifestyle. Interactive and community-building format. Interaction on both the training platform and the Facebook Student Group. Individual support is always available to answer questions or offer advice. .

Extensive ready-to-use resources

Part of the training content is a large library of ready-to-use resources including nature scavenger hunts, writing prompts, journals, activity sheets, colouring pages, nature connection impulse cards, mindfulness activities and recommendations for further reading.

Imagine feeling confident and empowered in effectively responding to our children’s climate-related challenges through nature connection approaches. In this training, you will learn creative, flexible and empowering strategies to help children feel part of this earth, positively reconnect to nature and become more hopeful for their future. All this while also engaging meaningfully with curriculum content.

Are you ready to be the person that can help the children you work with feel more connected to nature and themselves?

Here's what we will cover

Week one

Children's Modern Day Challenges

Week two

Why Nature Education?

Week three

Mindfulness and Nature Education

Week four

Guiding Children in Nature and integrating Nature Connection into Education and Everyday Life

Lead your child by the hand to the great scenes of Nature – Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi 

Who is this Programme for?

The Mindful Nature Pedagogy Training (MNP) is a valuable addition to the skillset of…

Primary School Teachers passionate about their work and wanting to learn effective and empowering methods to respond to symptoms of eco-anxiety in the children they work with.

School guidance counsellors,  play therapists and other professionals in the field working with children who are looking for approaches and methods to help them thrive despite our challenging times.

Homeschooling parents who are looking for inspiration and guidance and who are passionate about teaching their children skills that will support them in the future.

Anybody interested in the wellbeing, education, development and health of children and what Nature Education can do to support all of the above. 

Bonuses included as part of the training worth over €200

Nature Connection Journal

5 x Mindful Games

MNP Impulse Cards

MNP Impulse Posters

Various Scavenger Hunts

Colouring Sheets

Writing Impulses

Downloadable PDFs for every module

Extensive list of resources and recommendations

Full training fees including CPD certification and resources €175

Come and join us in upgrading the approach to mental health and adding this effective, flexible and hopeful methodology to your skill set.

Your questions answered

A: The training is designed in a way that gives great flexibility. There are some core materials but also an offer of a wide variety of articles from which you can pick and choose. This means hours can vary between 5-10 hours weekly depending on your own preferences and time limitations.

A: Yes, as a Mindfulness Rooted Ecotherapy (MRE) practitioner you can offer individual, group and remote MRE sessions for adults and children.

A: No, all content is released on a Monday and can be worked through self-paced to suit your personal schedule. Modules are a combination of downloadable PDF’s, pre-recorded videos and external links.

A: There are various forms of assignments and course interaction:

  • Interactive engagement with the reading materials through comments on the course platform
  • Meeting and exchange with like-minded course participants in a Facebook study group
  • Practice assignments at the end of each module. These are mostly experiential with some feedback given on the platform.
  • Final assignment of planning, facilitating and reviewing of two MRE sessions.

A: Yes, an additional 4 weeks can be taken to finalise the assignment.

A: Yes, we offer a limited number of 50% scholarships for students experiencing financial hardship, to apply please email alex@rootsandwings.ie

A: MRE is an approach that works symbiotically, prioritising both human and planetary health.

Copyright © Roots & Wings 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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