Bright Ideas

Earn a Certificate in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education

Susan Harlow

Photo by Bob Bailie

Earn a certificate in nature-based early childhood education! Starting this summer, Antioch University New England’s (AUNE) Department of Education will offer a certificate in nature preschool/forest kindergarten professional development. 
The certificate is a professional development option for early childhood teachers and administrators. It is an excellent option for early childhood professionals who want to take more of their conventional programs outdoors, and entrepreneurs who want to start a nature preschool or forest kindergarten program.
Participants take a set of four to six courses over thirteen months, from summer to summer. All courses are either on weekends or offered in week-long intensives. The courses can be for continuing education credits or for graduate school credits.
The Nature Preschool and Forest Kindergarten movement has been thriving in Europe for the last three decades. It has recently taken root in the United States, and the AUNE program, under the direction of senior faculty member David Sobel, hopes to support its healthy growth in New England and throughout the country. The certificate program provides exceptional professional development, training, and leadership in the exciting new field of nature-based early childhood education. AUNE received a grant from the George B. Storer Foundation to develop the certificate program.
Other options:
  • Matriculated students in AUNE’s Teacher Certification/Integrated Learning Master of Education (MEd) program may specialize in nature-based early childhood education within the Elementary Education Certification/Integrated Learning Program. 
  • The twelve to fifteen credits earned for the certificate may be transferred, within five years, into the Elementary Teacher Certification/Integrated Learning program MEd. 
In addition, In Bloom in Keene, the third nature preschool/forest kindergarten annual conference, will take place May 16 at the AUNE campus in Keene, New Hampshire. An urban version of this conference, In Bloom in Boston, will take place at Boston Nature Center on May 13. Stay tuned for more information.
See courses in nature-based early childhood education being offered at AUNE in spring 2014. 


professional development, certificate