Embrace the Outdoor Classroom: How to Stay Safe & Create Joyful Learning, Online, Monday, 07. September 2020

Self-Paced Virtual Learning Series with Live Engagements for educators, families, & all who are interested in teaching & learning outside!

About this Event

The dynamic of education environments has been shaken on a global scale with the uncertainty of what learning can look like within school buildings, and whether or not safety can be met while learning indoors. As families, teachers, kids, district and school leaders search for predictable routines and powerful learning experiences for youth, one thing we know for sure: outdoor learning is one of the safest options for people to meet in groups.

Outdoor learning is an exciting opportunity for all people who participate in school to engage with each other and the environment that surrounds them. During COVID-19 quarantine, many families, educators, and children experienced isolation and loneliness. As we prepare to stay safe during Back to School, the great outdoors allows powerful learning experiences for all to encounter. With organization, innovation, and wisdom, communities can work together and learn from one another to cultivate joyful learning outside.

In this virtual learning series, participants will have an opportunity to learn at their own pace with educators who have vast experience in outdoor learning both pre-and post-COVID-19, as well as healthcare workers who navigated COVID-19 at its peak crisis.

Discover how to:

  • Create land-based learning with Cinnamon Kills First
  • Turn an every day walk into an engaging study with Dr. Cathlin Goulding
  • Forge intra-school partnerships and make cross-curricular connections between school-based curriculum and the outdoors with Kass Minor
  • Make the outdoors your classroom with Joylynn Holder
  • Discuss COVID-19 community spread prevention with Simone Hannah Clark.
  • Synthesize your learning with Cornelius Minor

The series takes place between September 7, 2020 and October 7, 2020. It is designed for all educators, families, and persons who represent organizations that will be supporting youth learning this Fall. The course will be delivered via the online platform thinkific, and is self-paced, with pre-recorded, asynchronous content, as well as weekly live sessions from each presenter. Course login information will be sent the Friday before the course begins. Cornelius Minor will be a special guest, popping up to be “in-conversation” with presenters during live sessions!

Course Registration is based on a sliding scale* from $45-$200 and includes:

  • Access to all pre-recorded and live content in syndication throughout the duration of the course.
  • Texts selected by each presenter with session-specific processing guides and informational one-pagers.
  • 20 min Live Q& A with Simone Hannah Clark, Nurse
  • 45 min Live Q& A with Joylynn Holder, Brooklyn Forest School Founder
  • 45 minute pre-recorded class and 1 hour live Q& A with Dr. Cathlin Goudling, Co-Director of The Yuri Education Project
  • 45 minute pre-recorded class and 1 hour live Q&A with Cinnamon Kills First, Author, Artist, and Director of Northside Advocacy LLC
  • 45 minute pre-recorded class and 1 hour live Q&A with Kass Minor,
  • Pop-up appearances from Cornelius Minor
  • Community Discussion Board (asynchronous engagement)

Course descriptions from each presenter and bios below!

Instructor: Cinnamon Kills First

Cinnamon Kills First is an author, documentary filmmaker, and traditional beadworker. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Cinnamon is a Northern Cheyenne guest who currently lives in Chinook territory. She owns and operates Northside Advocacy LLC, which supports her work as an artist, speaker, and advocate. As a word warrior, she is dedicated to facing hard truths in order to bring about change.

Class Description: Unci Maka and the Stories She Carries:

Unci Maka is how the Lakota refer to the land, as "Grandmother Earth." This very phrase itself conveys how we relate to her: as our elder, a grandmother, and our relative. Native people recognize that the land itself - rocks and rivers - bear witness to history. The land carries stories. This course will introduce you to Indigenous perspectives on land and offer a pathway for you to expand your consciousness, attune your spirit, and realign yourself (and your students) to learn from her.

Instructor: Cathlin Goulding

Cathlin Goulding, Ed.D., co-directs YURI / An Asian American Education Project and is a researcher of place, pedagogy, and historical violence. She started in the education field as an ELA and poetry teacher at a public high school in the East San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her doctorate in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. From 2017-2019, she served as an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral research fellow at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. She has since worked as a curriculum consultant for The Fred T. Korematsu Institute, Mikvah Challenge, WNET (New York Public Media), WETA (Public Television and Classical Music for Greater Washington), and David’s Legacy Foundation. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. For more on her research and publications, see cathlingoulding.com.

Class Description: Designing Walking Tours for Observation and Discovery

How can an ordinary walk become an opportunity for observation and discovery? Michel de Certeau explains that to walk is to “make use of spaces that cannot be seen." Rebecca Solnit writes that walking is a “state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned.” In this course, participants will get an introduction to the foundational principles of a walking practice. These ideas will be complemented by case studies of educators who use walking as a pedagogical technique to uncover neighborhood histories and investigate our shared relationships with place. Finally, educators will learn how to design a walking tour for their classrooms and contexts, engaging walking as a lively, accessible format for thinking and feeling.

Instructor: Kass Minor

Kass Minor is an inclusive educator and community organizer who is deeply involved in local, inquiry-based teacher research and school community development. Alongside partnerships with the University of Chicago, Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project and the New York City Department of Education, since 2004, she has worked as a teacher, staff developer, adjunct professor, speaker, and documentarian. Along with her partner and husband, Cornelius Minor, she established The Minor Collective LLC, a community-based movement designed to foster sustainable change in schools, redefining what it means to develop affirming, welcoming school culture and instructional practice through the lens of racial justice, decolonization, and liberation. In addition to The Minor Collective, along with shea martin, Kelly Hurst, and Liz Kleinrock, Kass is a co-founder of Liberate and Chill* (featured on vox.com!), a grassroots, online learning experience for educators seeking to grow and develop their understanding of antiracist and liberatory pedagogy in today’s world. For more on Kass’s work and publications, visit kassandcorn.com

Class Description: Insert the Joy Metric: Outdoor Learning as an Opportunity to Remake and Reclaim What it Means to Learn in Standards-Guided Education

Outdoor learning has long been a method of education in many cultures, though not always in what has traditionally been defined as “school”. As people from all over the world remake learning experiences outside physical school buildings for youth, there is much to be considered, including the prevention of CoVid-19 community spread, organizing outdoor learning groups equitably, forging intra-school community partnerships, supporting students’ multiliteracies, and establishing rituals for youth gatherings. In this course, participants will learn essential steps for building and organizing school communities that embrace outdoor learning equitably and situate joyful learning opportunities for youth at the heart of what it means to “do school”.

Special Guest: Joylynn Holder

Joylynn Holder is Founder and Director of The Brooklyn Forest School, and the daughter of a play-based childcare provider and a corporate lawyer. After 14 years of Waldorf education, she studied Theology and Fine Arts at Georgetown University and Women’s Studies in George Washington University’s graduate program. She spent a year post grad launching a storytelling campaign with hundreds of women and girls across South Africa and directing a film for the Nobel-nominated Treatment Action Campaign. Joylynn has won numerous awards over the years for her work as a community organizer and filmmaker, including GW’s Service to the Community of Women, Georgetown’s Outstanding Community Service, the U.S. President’s Student Service and Senator Kemp Hannon’s Citizen Advancement awards. She has lectured at universities around the country, including as a guest lecturer at New York University in 2018. To read more about Joylynn's work, visit brooklynforest.org.

Special Engagement: Live Q& A. Joylynn Holder, founder and director of The Brooklyn Forest School, will engage with participants for a 45 minutes live Q&A, where learners are invited to ask Joylynn questions about her experiences in building outdoor learning environments with children through her work in creating and teaching children in The Brooklyn Forest School.

Special Guest: Simone Hannah Clark

Simone Hannah-Clark was born and raised in Hastings, New Zealand. She graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand and worked as a nurse in Australia and New Zealand before moving to New York City in November 2004. She has been a clinical nurse at The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit since 2005. She will begin a Master of Science in Nursing at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Fall 2020. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Special Engagement: Live Q&A. Simone Hannah Clark, (RN, CCRN), will engage with participants in a 20 minute live conversation about preventing COVID-19 community spread during outdoor learning engagements, including how to wear appropriate PPE, non-negotiable safety precautions, and what signs and symptoms to be aware of. In addition, she will help demystify CDC Guidelines and answer any questions learners might have.

Special Guest: Cornelius Minor

Cornelius Minor is a Brooklyn-based educator. He works with teachers, school leaders, and leaders of community-based organizations to support equitable literacy reform in cities (and sometimes villages) across the globe. His latest book, We Got This, explores how the work of creating more equitable school spaces is embedded in our everyday choices—specifically in the choice to really listen to kids. Most recently, along with his partner and wife, Kass Minor, he has established The Minor Collective, a community-based movement designed to foster sustainable change in schools. Whether working with educators and kids in Los Angeles, Seattle, or New York City, Cornelius uses his love for technology, hip-hop, and social media to bring communities together. As a teacher, Cornelius draws not only on his years teaching middle school in the Bronx and Brooklyn, but also on time spent skateboarding, shooting hoops, and working with young people.

Special Engagements: Cornelius will make pop-up appearances throughout the duration of the course, supporting participant's learning in discussion boards, and participating as a moderator in some of the live Q&A sessions.


This course is sponsored and curated by The Minor Collective LLC. Copyright to materials belong to presenters who created individual resources and artifacts. Distributing content beyond the thinkific course platform without permission is prohibited.



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Monday, 07. September 2020, Online, Embrace the Outdoor Classroom: How to Stay Safe & Create Joyful Learning

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