History has demonstrated that being in contact with nature has had a significant positive impact on human cognitive, behavioural, and emotional development. Walking in nature or appreciating a natural or urban landscape can inspire, intimidate, or even affect us even today. Outdoor education is an innovative teaching strategy that allows you to address two of today's most pressing issues: offering long-term, high-quality education and increasing awareness about the significance of maintaining our world in the face of the looming threat of climate change.
The new edition of the course “Outdoor education: a new way of teaching and learning” took place in Tenerife from29/01/2023 to 04/02/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Alan, Jacintha and Carmel from College of FET Ennis Campus in Ireland, Jelena from CVIT MEDITERANA - Bosiljak in Croatia, Michaela from Gymnázium Janka Jesenského in Slovakia, Jūlija and Tatjana Daugavpils Secondary School in Latvia, Tjaša and Mateja from Kranjski vrtci in Slovenija, Katarzyna, Zuzanna, Michał from Zespół Placówek Oświatowych w Rabie Niżnej in Poland, Ieva and Baiba from Prosun in Latvia.
Starting from the definition of Outdoor Education, we explored the diverse ways in which we can guide our students to come in contact with the outdoors, which doesn’t imply to always be in nature and forests. Indeed, we dedicated one part of the training to Urban Outdoor Education in the city.
Another part of the course involves practising numerous tools in a natural setting at nearby parks. All of the games and activities that were tried were well received and inspired our participants not only to share their activities with the rest of the group, but also to build their own Outdoor activity.
Participants also discovered the concepts of Non Formal Education (NFE), a pedagogical approach that can be present in many of the outdoor activities. This method places the tangible experience that students have while executing an activity or task at the center of the learning process. By following the complete cycle and ensuring that we ask our kids the appropriate reflecting questions, they will be able to relate and apply the new knowledge they have gained.
We discover all together the different policies in the different countries for creating an activity with the schools, and the different permission needed depending on the age of the children.
One of the special walks was to Bollullo beach, an amazing road through the bananas fields and the wild nature in the north of Tenerife, on the way we implemented some activities to being focused in the surroundings, we practise some tools to facilitate the communication between participants and finally we apply some tips to take care of the special needs of the group. Once we arrived we started playing and discovered the place. We worked in different subjects such as maths, languages, physical education and geography.
The final part of the training was dedicated to constructing an ad hoc outdoor experience for each participant's subject. After studying the principles of the outdoor learning approach, we did some practical cases with different approaches. On the last day of the course each participant designed an outdoor lesson based on the subject taught. Taking into consideration the level of age of their pupils, and the skills and topics they wanted to address, each teacher planned in detail the session, presented it to the other participants of the course and received feedback on how to improve it. This week was a great demonstration of the effectiveness of experiential outdoor learning: through our hands-on approach, participants got a real taste of what an outdoor education activity looks like and learned how to create one for their students.
Participants in this course were able to discover a wide range of activities and games that they will be able to recreate with their students, demonstrating that learning does not take place exclusively in the classroom!
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.