University of Minnesota Duluth block M and wordmark

Place-Based Education

Read More Homepage Stories

Connecting Learning and Activity

David Sobel: Sept. 18, 4:30-6 pm, UMD Weber Music Hall  

David Sobel, an internationally-known researcher, practitioner, and promoter of developmentally appropriate environmental education for children, will give a presentation at UMD on Sept. 18, 2012. The lecture, entitled "Why 21st Century Children Need Nature: Designing Natural Play Areas" will be held at Weber Music Hall from 4:30-6 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Sobel is a proponent of place-based teaching and learning. He advocates studying biology by bringing students outside to look at plants growing in the school yard. He encourages students to make maps of the neighborhood, to research the history of their community and to find out who makes and sells what in their home towns. He has pioneered work on sustainable models for place-based education where schools partner with nature centers and museums.

His research has revealed that children engage in more creative forms of play in green areas, as opposed to manufactured play areas. In his presentation, Sobel will share design principles that have been tested and reviewed. He will discuss the social, emotional, and behavioral benefits of these areas, and how to begin designing one at area parks, schools, or child care facilities.

"David Sobel is an important voice in environmental education today," said Tom Beery, assistant professor in UMD's environmental education program. "UMD graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental and outdoor education draw upon Sobel's work for inspiration and guidance. For example, Sobel's book, Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities, is used in UMD courses to encourage our students to see the connection between school, community, and environment."

Beery noted that Sobel helps environmental educators see the big picture of nature and culture. "An essential part of understanding the natural world is understanding people. Sobel reminds us of this important understanding," Beery said.

For information on this event, contact Tom Beery, 218-726-7333.

kids in a canoe   kids in winter  
UMD's involvement in a Lester Park after school program gives kids the opportunity to canoe at the Bagley Pond on campus.   All year long, these children play outside.  

Written by Cheryl Reitan and Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, August 2012

Homepage Stories | News Releases
Contact Cheryl Reitan,

Did you find what you were looking for? YES NO

Choose appearance:
[ Desktop | Mobile friendly ]