Being in contact with the outdoors has a positive impact on the development of humans. It is not unusual to feel inspired whilst on a walk in your local park, or going away to the countryside to “get some peace”. Outdoor Education is an innovative teaching method that answers to that need for space; it offers long-lasting quality education, and fights against the ever-evolving climate crisis.
The new edition of the course “Outdoor education: a new way of teaching and learning” took place in Bologna from 26/06/2022 - 02/07/2022. The participants came from all across Europe, with Airita from Priekule secondary school in Latvia; Laszlo from Fenyi Gyula Jesuit High School in Hungary; Aikaterini from 2nd KINDERGARTEN SCHOOL OF LITOCHORO in Greece; Ilze from Barboleta Ltd/ kindergarten "Learn to Learn" in Latvia; Charlotte from USA; Jana from Gymnázium Šrobárova in Slovakia; Jakab from Rákospalotai Meixner Általános Iskola és Alapfokú Művészeti Iskola in Hungary; Silvia and Hortensia from HUERTAS DEL PALMAR SCHOOL in Spain; and Athanasia, Maria, Kyriaki, Ioannis from Δημοτικό Σχολείο Πανόρμου in Greece.
The participants started the week off with defining Outdoor Education, and sharing their personal experience. In such a diverse group we were met with different techniques and practices, which came in handy when the group had to come up with a universal definition of Outdoor Education. It also helped when we were discussing the benefits of learning outdoors - the cognitive, behavioural, and physical aspects.
On Tuesday we focused on learning about Outdoor Education in nature, with a visit to a local park close to Bologna. All the games and activities gave inspiration to the group in more than one way - this was to help them tackle the last challenge of this week.
Before going on an adventure of their own, the participants discovered Kurt Hahn’s 10 principles in an indoor setting by playing a treasure hunt in the course venue. Running around the building they could feel like their students for once, whilst also gathering more clues about the topic at hand. After a short discussion about the principles, the group left to explore Florence.
Another thing we stressed was the fact that Outdoor Education doesn’t have to happen only in open spaces in nature. We started the day off with a treasure hunt in the centre of Bologna - both to test the participants’ knowledge of Bologna, and to show them how to apply outdoor learning in an urban setting. After the morning’s hunt, the group learned how to make their own.
The last day was dedicated to brainstorming. Using the venue’s garden as a map, the participants had to assess the risks, the opportunities, and come up with the activities they could do with their pupils.
The last challenge of this week was to come up with a detailed plan of their own outdoor activity! We had some great ideas, and great feedback from both the peers, and the trainer.
By the time the week came to an end, the group gained many ideas to apply in their classes, were experts on the topic of Bologna, and - thanks to the Greek participants - became amateur Sirtaki dancers. Thank you for this week and good luck in applying your outdoor activities!
Discover more about this course at https://www.erasmustrainingcourses.com/outdoor-education.html
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.