Social & Emotional Development Outdoors
2e & Neurodiverse Students Outdoors
Forest School Training
Integrate Forest School Principles into Your School or Classroom
- UK Forest School model
- Outdoor-based education
- Place-based education
- Play-based learning
- Social-emotional development
- STEAM curriculum
- Safety & risk assessment
The UK Forest School model creates nature-based communities with trained practitioners who facilitate and nurture student-led exploration and discovery in an outdoor setting. The Forest School model presents meaningful social and emotional as well as academic outdoor experiences that have positive lifelong impacts.
Forest school is about connecting with a place and outdoor-based education is about using that connection to enhance learning.
Social and Emotional Development Outdoors
Understand how to use the outdoors to build lifelong social & emotional development, which leads to greater academic achievements.
After being trained in trauma-informed education, Megan has built a robust conflict resolution program that helps students advocate for themselves, giving them the tools they need to work through conflicts in positive ways.
STEAM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach to teaching four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
All academic subjects can be taught out-of-doors using an experiential approach to teaching and learning. Research shows that learning out-of-doors helps people of all ages with mental and physical health, anxiety, and focus.
Risk assessment is an essential part of operating classes out-of-doors. The risk assessment process ensures that all activities, sites, and groups are assessed according to important safety guidelines.
Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15
2e & Neurodiverse Students Outdoors
Apply Knowledge of Neurodiversity to Your School or Classroom
Brain-imaging studies show that there are differences between children with learning and thinking differences (neurodiverse students) and their peers (neurotypical students). These differences are in the way the brain is wired and how the brain works during thinking and learning.
All people are naturally diverse learners, with varying strengths and weaknesses. Learn about how a strength-based approach can help twice-exceptional (2e) and neurodiverse students to gain self-awareness, reduce the stigma and shame around learning differences, and build confidence, self-esteem, motivation, and resilience.
Outdoor-Based Education Training
Professional Development for Schools
Our Outdoor-Based Education Training serves as a 2-hour introductory professional development course for schools. If you would like to continue education after participating in this course, we will work with interested teachers for a year to learn how to create your own outdoor-based school for neurodiverse children.
In order to take this course, you must first complete our Forest School Training as a prerequisite.
About Your Teachers
Megan Patterson is one of the leading experts in outdoor-based education and learning in Colorado. She founded one of the first outdoor-based preschool and elementary schools in Denver and ran the first licensed outdoor-based preschool and kindergarten pilot program in Colorado. Megan holds a B.A. in Communication and an M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning, as well as a Level 3 Forest School credential with the Forest Schools Association — a United Kingdom training program and one of the top forest school trainings in the world.
While working on her graduate degree, Megan discovered the outdoor-based model of learning and development. After teaching in public school settings all over the world for several years and conducting extensive research on the outdoor-based model of education, she knew this was the type of learning environment she wanted for children in Denver, including her own son whom she saw thriving in an outdoor environment.
In 2015, Megan opened Worldmind Nature Immersion School, a child and caregiver outdoor-based enrichment program. From 2018-2020, Megan and Worldmind led the first outdoor-based preschool and kindergarten pilot program with the State of Colorado in order to create state-wide licensure for outdoor-based preschool education programs. The success of this pilot has led to the outdoor-based preschool and kindergarten licensure for ages 3-6.
In August 2020, Megan expanded Worldmind to include an elementary school for students K-5. In August 2021, 6th grade was added, and 7th and 8th grades will be available starting in August 2022. Worldmind students experience small group learning in an outdoor setting with a strong foundation in social emotional learning (SEL) and a curricular focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).
Megan enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping with her son and two dogs.
Caroline began at Worldmind as a parent in the Child and Caregiver program. After apprenticing for two years, she became a lead teacher, leading Worldmind programs such as the Child and Caregiver program and the Homeschool Enrichment program. Upon completing a Level 3 Forest School Certification from the Forest School Association in the UK, she began teaching Forest School programs for Worldmind Preparatory School and Worldmind’s kindergarten class. In 2021, she took on the role of Director of Emotional and Physical Safety at Worldmind, guiding Worldmind staff in their endeavors to maintain safety in all facets.
Caroline’s future goals include expanding Worldmind’s educator training program, expanding her knowledge of trauma-informed education, and gaining her preschool director qualification. Inspired by her childhood fishing and collecting shells on the beach of Galveston, Texas, she hopes to make a lifelong connection to nature and self-exploration and learning through nature available to anyone.
Caroline holds a bachelor’s in Zoology with a focus on Entomology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has 8 years of experience in education, including teaching children’s English classes in Japan and being a para-professional in public schools. She also spent some time in Ecotourism, researching ecological relationships between ants and sea birds and guiding kayak tours to the research site.
Caroline is an amateur naturalist and adventurer who loves stargazing, bushcraft, and curating her collection of rocks and minerals.