Elissa Brown
  • Female
  • Oslo
  • Norway
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Fulbright Grantee
I am in Norway for the year on a Fulbright research grant, focusing on how outdoor learning experiences can be incorporated into traditional education, and how the Norwegian value of 'friluftsliv' ("open-air life") has influenced national pedagogy.

Before this, I taught middle school science for two years at an expeditionary learning charter school in North Carolina.
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Elissa Brown's Blog

Kingdom of Loose Parts: Norwegian free-play in natural settings

To be honest, I’ve spent a fair deal of this past year observing Norwegian children playing in nature. Picking berries, building shelters, “selling” all varieties of stone and pinecone merchandise in imaginary boutiques. There is romping and clambering. Clothes get muddy.

When I recently stumbled upon this excellent Slate article by Emma Marris,…


Posted on May 30, 2014 at 2:19am

Weather? Whatever!

Whether the weather be fine

Or whether the weather be not.

Whether the weather be cold

Or whether the weather be hot.

We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather,

Whether we like it or not.…


Posted on March 26, 2014 at 11:27am — 2 Comments

May the Forest be With You: "Markadagen" in Oslo, Norway

Three-year old Ivan is sitting beside a small campfire in Nordmarka, Oslo's public forest, looking pretty pleased. For one, he has convinced his mother, Katja, to prepare pinnebrød for him: a classic outdoors delight of dough wrapped around a stick and cooked over the flames. But also, more importantly, Ivan tried out skiing for the first time today! In Norway, a country that claims cross-country skiing as a national sport, this is a big…


Posted on February 19, 2014 at 3:50am

Sharing the Power: why teachers shouldn't answer every question

A sixth-grade girl waved me over to point out a small, puffy mushroom on the side of the trail. “It’s cool,” she breathed. “What is it?!”

I felt a sudden panic. Over the course of my environmental educator training, I had learned the names of countless mushrooms, trees and critters in this part of the western Connecticut forest, but I had never seen this type before. What was it? I had no…


Posted on February 5, 2014 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

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At 2:10pm on February 10, 2014, Carrie Tuttle said…

Hi Elissa,

This is a great article! I agree that it is great to foster a students sense of wonder with an element of "discovering on ones own." It is so tempting to answer all the questions and be the EE superstar but sometimes it is best to let the kids be their own superstars. 

On a related note, I work for an organization called the Bio-regional Outdoor Education Project and 4 times a year we publish a small newsletter that we send out to local teachers. Would you be interested in having this blog put in to print in our newsletter? I was not sure if I should ask you or CNN or both? We like to highlight folks with original thinking in terms of outdoor and place based ed. 

Here is more info on us:


And here is our newsletter: 


Thanks for posting this, I really enjoyed reading it!


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