Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Workshop with David Sobel: Program Development Based on Childhood and Nature Design Principles

January 18, 2014 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

david sobel

“Give children a chance to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” –David Sobel

Register Now

Green Building Alliance’s Green Schools Academy and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are very exciting to present this workshop with David Sobel, the “father of place-based education.”  It is a great opportunity to work closely with David and other local environmental educators in an intimate setting at the beautiful and inspiring Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes.

About the Workshop
The seven Children and Nature Design Principles are Special Places, Adventure, Fantasy, Small Worlds, Hunting and Gathering, Animal Allies and Maps and Paths. These design principles are based on recurrent play patterns in childhood, and can serve as ways to rethink programming and exhibitry at your organizations and schools. This workshop is excellent for environmental educators interested in discovering ways to construct new and innovative approaches to:

  • Curriculum design in schools,
  • Program design for summer and vacation camps, nature center programming and even birthday parties, or
  • Exhibit design in your education centers, museums, and institutions.

We’ll look at examples of applying the design principles in school and outside of school. Then we’ll all work on a design challenge—using the design principles to do program design in the local setting. Finally, in small groups, we’ll use the principles to innovate your approach to curriculum or a program you need to design in your personal or professional life.

Program participants are encouraged to come prepared with a design challenge, and to think about the workshop more like a design charrette. Examples of possible design challenges include:

  • We want to do a program on connecting children to local forests
  • We want to do more programming focused on educating about global warming with local schools
  • We want to install a new nature play area at our environmental center
  • We want to connect better with the African American community regarding getting kids outside
  • We have a vacation week camp in February and we want to redesign the program focused on tracking animals
  • We’re developing a new exhibit at the zoo and the main objective is getting young children and parents interacting with live animals

Teams of more than one individual from each organization/school are encouraged, however individuals can still attend.

Upon registration, attendees will receive materials in order to adequately prepare their design challenge for the workshop.

Attendance is very limited, so please register ASAP.

About David Sobel

David Sobel, a celebrated educator and writer who advances and promotes the philosophy of place-based education. By helping to establish the reciprocal relationships between our environments, our schools and our communities, David teaches us an educational approach that enhances student achievement, revitalizes our schools and communities, and promotes human and ecological health. David has a very long list of accomplishments, including:

  • Senior Faculty in the Education Department at Antioch University New England
  • Consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education to schools, environmental organizations, and the National Park Service
  • Has authored seven books and more than 60 articles on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists, and school administrators
  • Was recognized as one of the Daring Dozen educational leaders in the United States in 2007 by Edutopia magazine
  • Has served on the editorial boards of:
    • Encounter
    • Community Works Journal
    • Orion


January 18, 2014
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Tags:
, , ,


Jenna Cramer


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Inc.
One Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 United States
+ Google Map