Hitchcock Naturalist Ted Watt Contributes to Environmental Education Anthology

We’re excited to announce a new anthology of essays entitled Education in Times of Environmental Crises: Teaching Children to be Agents of Change. This is an anthology written for teachers about how to work with children and increase their awareness of environmental challenges that lie ahead and empower them to make a difference. The book is edited by Ken Winograd, Associate Professor of Education at Oregon State University and is published by Routledge. Ted Watt from the Hitchcock Center staff was invited to contribute a chapter in the book. Throughout the book there is a wealth of information about how to connect young people to the Earth, how to foster their awareness and engagement with our future. The book contains chapters by environmental education leaders from around the world. There are sections on place-based learning, peace studies, thinking globally and acting locally, developing emotional resiliency, and professional development approaches for teachers. It is a powerful volume.anthology-image

Watt’s chapter describes our work as Naturalists in Residence in our local schools. He describes how we work more in-depth with classes, how we build relationships with the faculty and students, and how we focus on the critters and plants found on the school grounds and nearby green areas. We go on walking field trips, look under logs and in vernal pools, examine stone outcroppings, record songbird territories, explore tree leaves and flowers, follow animal tracks through the snow, and generally investigate the wonders of nature. And, it describes how these experiences can inform classroom practice in both language arts and mathematics. Watt’s chapter includes some of the Hitchcock Center’s philosophies about education and spending time outdoors. It also includes some vignettes from Watt’s years as a teaching naturalist:

All around the barnyard were smallish tracks and tunnels in the soft snow. I was puzzled at first. It could be several creatures. Then one of the students peered into one of the tunnels and saw blood! So we were tracking a carnivore! As we continued to explore, the tracks indicated a very agile, active and curious animal, exploring every nook and cranny, even tunneling in and around rock walls. As we ranged further from the barn, we approached the steep bank heading down to the local North River. Here came the tracks up the bank.

Share this book with teachers that you know and get ready to be inspired and energized!

Ted Watt is a highly skilled naturalist and Hitchcock educator who helps children and adults understand the unique habitats and ecosystems of New England through hands-on instruction and mentorship.

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