Engaging with the natural environment has a significant positive effect on the cognitive, behavioural, and emotional growth of individuals since ancient times. Even in the present day, it is not uncommon to experience inspiration and awe while strolling through natural surroundings or appreciating a natural or urban landscape. Outdoor learning is a forward-thinking educational method that provides an opportunity to tackle two crucial issues in contemporary society: delivering enduring, high-quality education and promoting awareness about the critical need to safeguard our planet in light of the formidable challenge of climate change.
The new edition of the course “Outdoor education: a new way of teaching and learning” took place in Bologna from 19/11/2023 - 25/11/2023. The participants came from all across Europe, with Nada Dominis, Antonija Goja, Katarina Morović, Ana Krvavac and Elizabeta Demo from OŠ " PetarLorini" Sali (Croatia); Pauliina Häkkinen from Omnia (Finland); Nikolaos Paradeisis and Konstantinos Papadopoulos from GENIKO LYKEIO AGROU KERKYRAS (Greece) and Alexandra Eleni Soulani and Evangelos Rikos from Dimotiko Scholeio Temenis (Greece).
Starting from the definition of Outdoor Education, we delved into the various methods through which we can steer our students towards engaging with the outdoors. It's essential to note that this doesn't always mean being surrounded by nature and forests. In fact, a segment of the training was exclusively dedicated to Urban Outdoor Education within the city. Participants were instructed on how to teach different subjects by experimenting with activities that directed their focus to the urban surroundings.
Another section of the course concentrated on applying various tools in a natural setting, specifically in local parks. The games and activities experimented with were highly valued, providing inspiration to participants not only for sharing their activities with the group but also for creating their own outdoor activities.
The course trainer also shared Kurt Hahn's 10 principles with the participants. The group then embarked on a treasure hunt around the hotel in order to find the principles, turning the learning experience into an enjoyable activity. As they followed clues and worked together, the participants experienced an adventure that not only brought a sense of fun but also encouraged positive competition among them.
This week served as a vivid example of the effectiveness of experiential outdoor learning. Through a hands-on approach, participants gained a genuine understanding of what an outdoor education activity entails and acquired the knowledge required to plan similar experiences for their students. Throughout the course, participants explored a diverse array of activities and games that they can now replicate with their students, underscoring the idea that learning extends beyond the confines of a traditional classroom.
Discover more about this course here.
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.