Outdoor Education

Topic/ theme:  outdoor and non-formal education methods, outdoor activities and tools in the formal environment, involving students in outdoor learning experiences

 At your request, the courses can be structured for a different schedule (5 or 7 training days).

Sending partners: educational organizations involved in formal, non-formal and informal learning: kindergartens, schools, adult training centers, resource centers and other relevant organization active in the adult education field established in Erasmus+ program countries.

Participants: 20-25 adults involved in education

Course fee: According to the Erasmus+ guide, 80 euros / training day, including course preparation, training, training materials, administration costs, organizational costs, 24 hours emergency support.

Trainers: multinational team of trainers – Portuguese, Romanian and Maltese, SALTO affiliated, with specialization courses in more than 15 European countries.

Languages used: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French. The training materials will be provided in English. On request, Spanish and French.

Profile of the participants:

The participants are teachers (working in kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools etc.) or adult trainers active in the sending organization interested in using nature as resource and outdoor methods of teaching, with or without previous experience, willing to develop themselves professionally not only through the course, but by involving themselves in preparatory and follow up activities. They must be interested in other cultures and in developing the institution’s European dimension.

Objectives:

  • to develop personal and social skills through outdoor activities and lessons
  • to develop competences regarding applying outdoor education in different formal settings in order to improve the motivation of the students
  • to provide participants with tools, ideas and best practices as well as practical experience and first-hand knowledge on how to integrate outdoor education in formal education
  • to provide teachers and other education staff with the basic skills and tools to lead a range of group exercises and challenges, problem solving games, experiential activities in the nature, on school sites, in local parks as well as in urban settings.
  • to share best practices and transfer knowledge and methods between different cultural zones and different learner ages
  • to increase participants’ confidence in working with non-formal methods, using their own qualities, talents, differences, as well as the collective intelligence of the home team they will guiding in the valorisation process
  • to foster excellence and innovation in education by equipping teachers and education staff with the basic knowledge and skills to integrate outdoor education activities in their education programmes.
  • to promote European cooperation in the field of education within the framework of the Erasmus+ program by partnership building

Learning outcomes:

The course will help the participants to:  

  • Understand the characteristics of outdoor education;
  • Share experiences and intercultural practices in a cooperative and collaborative learning process with focus on how to use nature as a learning and teaching resource;
  • Learn how to use nature as a classroom
  • Develop creative tools and techniques that can be used in order to increase student’s motivation and combat drop-out phenomenon;
  • Learn to use specific tools across multiple situations and fields through activities and exercises;
  • Learn and discuss the principles and the cultural aspects of outdoor education;
  • Learn how to design, plan and deliver inspirational outdoor education activities;
  • Experience and practice environmental and outdoor education working methods and approaches;
  • Get to know and experiment practical activities and group games that could be used and integrated in a real course;
  • Learn how to use outdoor education to built confidence and to self-esteem
  • Exchange best practices and share experiences with teachers and education around Europe;
  • Learn how to teach students to bring what they learn in the classroom into real life through application and observation
  • Develop a personal activity plan; how to put new knowledge into action back home and how to support the school development in the field of outdoor learning.

 Methodology

The main methods will be through practical training, cooperative work, various activities and discussions. The content is based on ,,learning by doing” combined with “reflection upon action”. Positive atmosphere, exchange and fun is a part of the process during the training. The course will take place mainly outdoors close to nature.

DaysModuleDetails of activities and methodology
Days 1,2Culture and interculturalityCourse introduction: aims, content and envisaged outcomes and expectations of participants. Intercultural games.  Working in an international project – how to communicate and connect. Team building: working with colleagues and parents – practical exercises followed by a debate.   Stereotypes and prejudices.
Cultural Isla – project tour exploring exterior manifestations of culture. Key principles and benefits about outdoor education and outdoor learning
The value of outdoor education for personal, social and relational development
Day 3,4Outdoor EducationAdapting different outdoor games to the age group. 
Workshops for personal and social development and how to teach school subjects outside the classroom.
Out in the nature – Philosophy, theory, and practices of experiential education and environmental education

Experimenting journey nature-based experiences, team building activities and orienteering exercises in the nature
Real cases experiences and reflections on current teaching practices and styles
Cultural activities in the city
Day 5Group dynamics.Intra and inter group dynamics.
Workshop of outdoor leadership.
Workshops showing a diversity of outdoor activities and exercises, by using “heart, hand and head” experience outdoors environmental education.
Midterm evaluation
Days 6,7,8Education methods (formal, non-formal, informal)How to design, plan and deliver outdoor education activities
Site & risk assessment and health & safety issues of taking students into nature
Practical activity: designing and planning outdoor educational activities

  Study visit to a local institution applying outdoor methods.
Outdoor workshops in the city environment – Isla/ Lisbon as an outdoor education resource.
Teaching outdoor in urban settings: outside the classroom there isn’t only nature  

Experiencing group exercises and challenges, problem solving games, experiential activities
Creativity methods in the outdoor education  
Creating your own outdoor teaching style
Day 9Evaluation, dissemination and certificationDissemination of previous European projects applying non-formal and informal methods made by all partners.
Dissemination and valorization – activities planning.
Using European certification tools: Europass Mobility certificate, upgrading the Europass Language Passport and Europass Skills Passport.
Project evaluation.
Certification outdoor ceremony.
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