Approaching Walden is a six-day professional development seminar for high school educators and graduate students. The seminar provides teachers with the skills they need to lead their students in a study of their home community. This place-based interdisciplinary workshop uses Henry David Thoreau’s writings and philosophy as a model. Through Thoreau’s example of living deliberately, we can learn how to do so in our own communities and pass it along to the next generation.
Dates for 2018 are Sunday, July 15-Friday, July 20!
Application Deadline: February 28 for preferred consideration
Seminar Highlights This annual seminar features a daily mix of lectures, field trips, readings, discussions and reflection. Participants encounter speakers from different fields with expertise in the areas of natural history, writing, literary analysis, art and the environment. Seminar features include:
lectures on Thoreau, Transcendentalism and social reform by experts in their fields;
workshops on conservation and the environment, historic land use and nature journaling; and
trips to Walden Pond and historic Concord.
Who Participates: While high school teachers (from various disciplines) are the majority of participants, we’ve also welcomed graduate students of education, middle school educators and others who educate in non-traditional settings.
Program Fee: $50 (submitted to guarantee your spot once accepted to the program)
Travel Stipends: Depending on how far away from Walden Pond you live, we offer travel stipends:
$600 for participants living outside of New England;
$300 for participants living in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts (50 miles or more from Walden Pond); or
$100 for participants living in Massachusetts, fewer than 50 miles from Walden Pond.
Graduate Credit and Professional Development Points:
45 Professional Development Points (through the EDCO Collaborative)—participants seeking to receive PDPs will be required to complete a “sense of place” curriculum unit consisting of at least three lesson plans, due two weeks after the conclusion of the program.
3 graduate-level credits from Fitchburg State University (for an additional fee of $285)–participants seeking graduate course credit will be required to complete a “sense of place” curriculum unit consisting of five lesson plans, due two weeks after the conclusion of the program.
The vast machine may indeed roll over our toes, and we not know it, but it would rebound and be staved to pieces like an empty barrel, if it should strike fair and square on the smallest and least angular of a man's thoughts.Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 26 September 1859