The Discovery Nature-Based Educator Course

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The Discovery Nature-Based Educator Course is a comprehensive online learning experience. This course will provide early learning professionals with an understanding of the values, skills, and dispositions to successfully operate a Nature-Based program within any early learning environment. This course was created by three certified Forest School Practitioners working in a licensed early learning setting in Ontario. 

This course will support educators in their professional desires to implement a holistic Nature-Based program. The facilitators of the Discovery Nature-Based educator course have a combined experience of over 50 years in operating high-quality, outdoor programs.

This Nature-Based Educator Course is made for educators by educators. It weaves in the elements of theory and will provide participants with ongoing opportunities to implement these new skills into their settings.

Our expert facilitators will then provide real time feedback to all participants to ensure each individual experiences an individualized learning path.

This is for any early learning professional

  • Who is looking for concrete strategies, tools, and springboards to enrich their program and connect children with nature. 

  • Who wants to develop life-long skills that will give them the confidence and competencies to provide a rich nature-based program and ensure all governing requirements are adhered to.

  • Who is committed to a year long investment in their professional development.

  • Who is looking for support to advocate for this type of early learning philosophy within their work setting. 

At Discovery Professional Learning, we have deeply held beliefs that children deserve regular and repeated access to beautiful, diverse, and natural environments. In the context of COVID, we have had to think and rethink what we believe and have seen this time as an unprecedented opportunity to reconceptualize our programs and spaces.

We have deeply held values around the environment and our vision is to connect children with nature. As we got more clear on what this looks like in practice we understood and believed that the environments we offer children have the potential to change the world,and the Nature-Based Educator course was born.

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Connecting children with nature is more than space and’s a way of being. Regardless of your space, you can connect children with the natural world. We have spent time engaging with hundreds of educators from across Canada with all types of outdoor spaces; from very limited to very robust, and our message is the same: Nature is everywhere if you really pay attention, you can find it!

Discovery Professional Learning is proud to announce the creation and launch of the “Discovery Nature-Based Educator Course.” This course will include 12 online, learn-at-your-own-pace modules that have been designed for participants to complete within 12 months from the beginning of the course (will have up to 18 months if needed). 

The topics covered in this course include:

  1. Program Partner Engagement Kit and Strategy
  2. Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being and Land-Based Learning
  3. Vision and Values of the Nature-Based Educator
  4. The Principles of Play in a Nature-Based Program
  5. Navigating Risk & Risky Play 
  6. Ecological Impact and Honourable Educational Practices
  7. Hard skills: Ropes and Knots
  8. Hard skills: Shelters and Building
  9. Hard skills: Tools
  10. Hard skills: Fire
  11. Hards skills: Gardening and Food Literacy
  12. Sustainable Educational Practices 
  13. Culminating Project

Each topic has been designed to provide educators with theory and practice that can be completed in a variety of early learning environments including: 

  • Licensed home child care
  • Licensed centre-based child care
  • EarlyON
  • Home (families)
  • School settings
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The course is designed to provide participants with the theory, skills, and practicum opportunities to be equipped with the necessary skills to safely operate a Nature-Based program in many early learning settings. 

The components of this course include:

  1. Online, learn at your own pace modules
  2. Online, Virtual Communities of Practice
  3. Research-based assignments
  4. Hands-on practicum requirements
  5. Real-time feedback from facilitators on all course components and assignments

Participants will be provided with a certificate of completion acknowledging their achievement in successfully completing all required course components of the “Discovery Nature-Based Educator course.” A thorough course synopsis with all acquired skills and knowledge will be provided to all participants who successfully complete the course with their certification. 

There is a year's worth of content. You will have up to 18 months to complete all components of the course.

Optional in-person learning days will be available to participants.  Stay tuned for more details.

Join the waitlist

Course fees start at $1600 + HST

A non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $550 + HST is is due no later than 5 business days after receiving the acceptance email from Discovery Professional Learning. In addition, the remainder of the course fees are due in full, 3 weeks prior to the start date of the course and are non-refundable & non-transferable.  This is a 12-18 month commitment to your own professional development. Please ensure that this is a good time for you.