Curry Class Note

Michael Bentley

Michael Bentley (Ed.D. ’85 Sci Ed) just published is first practical, how-to book aimed at parents and teachers: Connecting Children: Ideas and Activities for Parents and Educators (2014, Bethany, Oklahoma: Wood ‘N’ Barnes). “The premise is that we are in living in a critical time for a reality check on how our kids are growing up. The digital world and screen time have become pervasive, and some balance needs to be restored for the healthful development of both child and society. Connecting children and youth to nature entails, first, fostering their love of nature and empathy with the natural world; second, helping them acquire, appropriate to their development, a grasp of how living things and systems work; and third, guiding them to make knowledgeable choices as they live out their lives at home and in community. The chapters in this book, written by professionals from backgrounds in both school and informal education, offer examples and activities utilizing many outdoor settings, from backyard and neighborhood to study abroad. There are fresh ideas and useful resources for parenting infants to teens and college students, and teaching pK-16, and even teaching teachers. It is all about the theory and practice of introducing children of all ages to the phenomena of nature and building upon their experiences to grow their naturalist intelligence and critical consciousness.

Michael Bentley's Curry Memory

“I’ll never forget reading John Dewey’s books, one after another, with an informal group of grad student peers led by Professor Gail McCutcheon. We met every week over the course of a year to work through the meanings found in our self-assigned chapters. I received no credit but spent as much time with this project as I did with my regular classes, and got more out of it than I did from many of them.”

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