Environmental education

Although environmental education is increasingly common in the United States and Canada, similar programs are almost unheard of in much of the rest of the Western Hemisphere. In addition, environmental education programs generally complement traditional classroom subjects, rather than constituting the core curriculum of a school.

At the CREATIVE Education Center Cloud Forest School, however, effective environmental education has always guided both philosophical and academic decisions. In 2003, the school piloted an integrated curriculum based on a series of six-week units, each focusing on a different environmental theme. Today, Cloud Forest School’s student body has more than quadrupled and we face the exciting challenge of refining an environmental education curriculum at all levels that is consistent with the school’s philosophy, history and mission.

Land stewardship.

Students in all grades (preschool through 6th grade) spend time caring for the school environment.

At Centro de Educación CREATIVA Cloud Forest School we currently maintain an organic garden, a recycling center, compost garbage cans, a native tree nursery, a reforestation project, and a trail system that runs through our wooded campus.

In the near future, we plan to add more trails, a small animal husbandry program and a botanical garden.

Students participate in daily maintenance and hands-on education in each of these areas. By taking responsibility for the school environment and learning basic land stewardship skills, students come to see our institution as a microcosm of the global environment, appreciating and understanding its natural beauty while recognizing the importance of sustainable living and making conscious decisions regarding land use and lifestyle.

The Earth is not our planet, it is our HOME.

Local environmental education.

The CREATIVE Education Center Cloud Forest School is located in one of the most admired and studied ecosystems by environmentalists everywhere: the tropical cloud forest.

Our students are fortunate to have as their classroom one of the last remnants of Pacific pre-mountain cloud forest in the world. The school property is part of a “green necklace” that is protected from development by conservation easements, and features a wealth of increasingly rare native flora and fauna.

The Local Environmental Education component of the curriculum at Cloud Forest School educates students about this unique and fragile ecosystem, while generating a love for the land.

This component is managed by the school’s environmental education coordinator, under whose direction all classes spend time each week actively participating in lessons related to the tropical cloud forest.

Global socio-environmental studies.

All students in grades 4-6 follow the Cloud Forest School CREATIVE Education Center’s global socio-environmental studies curriculum.

These students focus on a region or continent, integrating the study of geography, geology, ecology, climate, anthropology, literature, history, and contemporary culture into this earth-based approach.

The global socio-environmental curriculum culminates in the eleventh grade with a year-long study of human ecology. This course unites students’ understanding of diverse ecosystems and cultures in a study of the “state of the environment” in today’s global community.

This program provides an in-depth, age-appropriate look at the natural history, history, and culture of different regions of the world, while maintaining at its core an inquiry into the diverse and changing global environment.

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Sue Gabrielson
Co- Director

Sue pasó su primer tiempo prolongado en Monteverde en 2016, como voluntaria en la biblioteca del Centro de Educación CREATIVA Cloud Forest School, mientras sus hijas asistían al séptimo y al undécimo grado.
Más tarde ese año se mudó a Monteverde de forma permanente y enseñó humanidades en la escuela secundaria en Monteverde Friends School (MFS). Después de un año de enseñanza, fue contratada como directora de la escuela de MFS en 2017. Antes de eso, la Rev. Sue (como la llamaban cariñosamente después de convertirse en ministra unitaria universalista ordenada) sirvió como pastora en iglesias en Maine durante 20 años.
También ha organizado campañas políticas para la atención médica como un derecho humano, el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo y el cambio climático, ha enseñado en universidades y ha formado parte de muchas juntas comunitarias.
Tiene dos maestrías, una en Educación de Adultos y otra en Divinidad, es ABD en un programa de Doctorado en Servicios Humanos Multidisciplinarios.
Sue ha trabajado en administración de educación superior y navegó tres veces en el Programa Semester at Sea.
Tiene dos hijas: Grace y Ellie (ambas graduadas de MFS) y está casada con Ulises Salazar Leiton.
Le encanta leer, jugar al billar, caminar, las aguas termales y otras actividades al aire libre.

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