CLN Institute 2019 Speakers
Here are some of our workshop leaders that come from around the world. These are the “best of the best” and they are passionate about working with teachers and children. Click on their profile to learn more about them.
Paul the founder of The Childplay Institute, and a licensed Architect has three decades experience designing more than sixty dynamic learning environments. His mission now is to empower directors; early childhood and special education teachers; and parents to create and transform their own environments with his insight, tools, experiences and coaching. In December he will receive an MA in Early Childhood Education from SF State University.
Over the past thirteen years his passion and focus have been on creating activities that engage young children and designing places of Learning, Discovery and Joy. It has been a journey of exploration and immersion in all the realms of children: Indoors; In-between; Outdoors; and Beyond. He has extensive experience designing nature-rich outdoor classrooms. As part of his journey Paul has visited more than 120 ECE centers, schools, colleges and universities across four continents.
He has been leading the Children Learning with Nature Institute since 2013 and is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences around the country. Paul is currently finishing up an MA degree in Early Childhood Education and has been a preschool teacher. His vision is to develop his own Nature Based Preschool and Training Center in the SF Bay Area. A proud Californian, he loves to share the joy of working with children outdoors and how they benefit from it with anyone who will listen.
Max Christie lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand at Childspace. He is passionate about early childhood education, nature, music, storytelling and play!
Max is currently Kaiarahi (Leader) of Te Ngahere ( the forest) programme at Northland Childspace. He enjoys encouraging young children to challenge themselves, take-risks, and connect holistically with all the elements of nature. Max is heavily influenced by the values of Te Āo Māori (the indigenous culture of New Zealand) which focus on interdependence, community, unity of purpose, integrity, honesty, spirituality, and teaching and learning as being one in the same.
Max is currently studying for his Masters in Early Childhood Education. He is a talented musician whose album, Play nicely, has been widely celebrated and he enjoys the creative expression of storytelling with young children.
Amy Butler is the Director of Education at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, Vermont and has been connecting adults and children with the natural world for 20 years. She founded Vermont’s first forest preschool and has nurtured it’s growth to serve the needs of local children and their families. In 2010, Amy founded ECO (Educating Children Outdoors), a standards based nature immersion program that serves 9 public schools in the central Vermont area. Each week Amy and her team facilitate outdoor learning with students and support teachers in extending their classroom into the outdoors.
By advocating for every child to have access to the natural world, Amy strives to help children develop a strong sense of who they are and where they come from. She believes that by simply teaching children how to care for themselves, how to care for others and how to care for the earth, that they will become active citizens, choosing to hold Vermont’s beauty in their care. Amy lives at the base of Spruce Mountain with her family and loves back country skiing, tending her garden and birding by ear from her.
Ben Clark was born and still lives in, Wellington, New Zealand where he is a father of two and a passionate Early Childhood Educator. He came to Early Childhood Education late in life after having done many different jobs over the years including work on the movies Avatar and The Hobbit . Ben considers the best years of his life as the 6 years spent at home with his two children.
Ben loves learning with and playing alongside young children and values supporting their development and learning through these crucial years. He is passionate about getting children outside, connecting with nature and taking risks. Ben is equally passionate about providing the nurturing and love that underpins healthy development in all areas.
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. (Māori proverb – What is the most important thing in the world? The people, The people, The people.)
Elissa Calvin has almost twenty experience in the early childhood education as a preschool teacher, nature science teacher, and currently as a curriculum consultant and teacher trainer. She has a Masters of Arts degree in ECE at San Francisco State and did her field study on how outdoor natural spaces can help children with self-regulation. Elissa enjoys working with children in natural spaces and seeing how their natural scientist comes out, and supporting teachers in gaining confidence in working with children in nature.
Jenna is two years old and was born to play. She is a Newfoundland breed with Landseer coloring. The American Kennel Club cites as the defining characteristic for Newfies as they are often called as, “Sweetness of Temperament.” They are also often called “Nature’s Nannies” for their love of children and gentle disposition. Although 110 pounds already Jenna is small for being a Newfie. Jenna will be available at the conference to provide kisses, hugs and emotional connection! We hope that next year she will become a teacher in Paul and Mylene Roberts’s nature preschool.
Kate HookhamSenior Consultant for Mindstretchers Ltd
Kate Hookham is Mindstretchers Senior Consultant and the Co-ordinator of Living Classrooms. She has developed and delivered key notes, training and CPD courses. She is responsible for the operations of our Forest School qualification, including the delivery, assessment and quality assurance in the UK and beyond. At Living Classrooms Kate built community capacity through informal education programmes for refugees, ethnic minorities, the elderly and youth. She now coordinates the International Association of Nature Pedagogy and our Erasmus projects. In addition, Kate supports Auchlone Nature Kindergarten staff and children through hands-on mentoring.
Roberta J. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Frostig Center, Pasadena, CA, which provides consultation and professional development for teachers and other professionals...
Roberta J. Goldberg, Ph.D.
Dr. Goldberg is Director of the Community Outreach Department at the Frostig Center, Pasadena, CA, which provides consultation and professional development for teachers and other professionals serving preschool through high school students who have special needs. She has conducted the Disabilities Strand training for Head Start/Early Head Start in the San Gabriel Valley and provides consultation to numerous early childhood education programs in the area when concerns arise. She speaks frequently to audiences locally and internationally concerning children's learning and behavior and is an active member of the World Forum Working Group on Inclusion. She publishes regularly in the area of longitudinal studies of children with learning disabilities and Success Attributes. Dr. Goldberg received her Doctorate in Developmental Psychology and School Psychology from the University of Minnesota and holds a current Clinical Child Psychologist license in California.
Linda Barker, M.A.
Linda Barker, M.A.
Linda Barker is currently the Early Childhood Education Specialist in the Community Outreach Department of the Frostig Center, Pasadena, CA. She consults regularly on behalf of young children with special needs in local private, parochial and public preschools. With Dr. Goldberg, she conducts professional development for Early Childhood Educators and parents on topics such as Early Warning Signs, Challenging Behavior, and Including Children with Special Needs, Engaging Young Children and Parent/Teacher Relationships. She has a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Child and Family Counseling, a Pupil Personnel Credential and a background in teaching and directing preschool.
Linda Barker and Roberta Goldberg recently collaborated on the article, “The Director’s Toolbox for Including Children with Special Needs” in Exchange Magazine which helps Directors of early childhood programs assess their readiness to include children with special needs in their programs. They have developed the Including Children with Special Needs in the Outdoor Classroom sequence for the Outdoor Classroom Project™.
Anne Sivanathan has been an advocate for inclusion over the past twenty-five years. Her most recent endeavor is the Inclusive Outdoor Classroom which is a first in her native country of Malaysia. Typically developing children and children with special needs learn alongside in nature to make inclusion a reality.
Jena is a landscape architect, and 20-year nature play expert, and mom with 4-year old twin daughters to dedicated to designing nature-based inclusive play, learning, and therapeutic environments for children of all ages and abilities. She has been researching and designing environments specifically for children with autism, sensory processing issues, and other special needs since 2004. Jena collaborates with children, parents, educators, therapists, counselors, and childcare professionals in her design processes, and frequently facilitates volunteer working groups in portions of the construction process of nature playscapes and learning landscapes. She is also is an Adjunct Instructor with Washington State University’s Landscape Architecture program and teaches Design-Build. She is also Founder and Past Chair of the Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network.