Sandra Duncan

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."
- John Lubbock

Why Nature?

Nature can teach us limitless lessons if we only take the time to open our eyes and look at its beauty—open our ears and listen to the many sounds and songs that are rippling through the breeze—and open our minds and hearts so we can learn from the Earth and its wondrous and amazing creatures.

Many of nature’s lessons are larger than life. Think about how a small insignificant acorn can grow into a strong and magnificent oak tree. Consider how salmon valiantly swim upstream returning to their birthplace to spawn. Or, marvel about how monarchs courageously flap their fragile wings and fly as far as 3000 miles to their winter homes. From these marvelous creatures, we can learn huge life lessons such as perseverance, patience, tenacity, or fortitude. But, because nature is wise in so many ways, it can teach us smaller, but not any less important, lessons about designing environments or habitats for young children.

"The wisest and noblest teacher is nature itself."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Lesson from the Pumpkinseed Fish

What exactly can we learn from nature? What can sea turtles, a bunch of grapes, lighting bugs, mushrooms, or jellyfish possibly tell us about designing early childhood classrooms? Although it may sound far-fetched, we can actually learn a great deal. This book explores how nature is a wise and noble teacher and offers valuable as well as very important lessons about how to design children’s environments.
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See Nature Inspire Design

June 4, 2021
Loss of Habitat

[Excerpt from New Book, "The Unspoken Language of Early Childhood Environments" (Tentative Title) , by Sandra Duncan, Christine Burkholder, and Lauren Magee] Young children are losing their childhoods in today’s […]

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May 11, 2021
Edgerley Family Horizons Center

As many of you know, I have many wonderful opportunities to design and consult on many projects around the world. Recently I was able to play a small part in […]

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November 3, 2020
How to Bring Back Your Life’s Rhythms: Captain of the Ship

There’s no doubt about it; we are living in a new norm in which the unpredictability of COVID-19 has left us with a mounting sense of uncertainty about financial security […]

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