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  /  Projektas-8

The Nature Inside and Outside

Beneficiary: VšĮ Lauko darželis
National Agency: Education Exchanges Support Foundation (Švietimo mainų paramos fondas)
Programme: „Erasmus+“, KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practice, KA229 – School Exchange Partnerships
Project No. 2019-1-IT02-KA229-062370_3
Project Title: The Nature Inside and Outside
Partner countries: Italy, Slovenia, Lithuania, Finland
Start of the project: 2019-09-01
End of the project: 2021-08-31
Project duration: 24 months

PROJECT SUMMARY

Analyzing the conditions of childhood today we can see that children are over-committed and over- protected as “Bubble wrap generation” so defined by Malone. They are “closed” within the school and domestic walls, with few opportunities to gain experience in nature with the risk of experiencing the condition which Richard Louv called “Nature deficit order”. They need to make concrete, manual and sensorial “vital” experience to reconnect to nature and to be able to feel well at the physical and psychological level. For these reasons we feel the need to re-think our school where outdoor education can be established more strongly as educational paradigm. The partnership schools are characterized by a strong focus on educational experience in nature and share the desire to develop further the professionalism, teaching methods and the organization itself and consequently the quality of their educational work and the well-being of children. All participating kindergartens need to continue experimenting as open-air schools with continuous reflections and joint training opportunities for innovative methods by creating spaces of comparisons, reflections and training within the partnership.

The main objective is to improve and increase professional, personal and cultural skills by offering an important support to teachers and to their educational work. Another objective is to favor the innovative teaching process, helping teachers to develop/innovate methods in order to be able to respond in an even more competent way to the needs of childhood today.

The partnership is composed of four kindergartens from Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia and Finland. The project includes six short-term joint staff training meetings with the study of some issues related to outdoor education. In a parallel way each kindergarten will start experimenting with innovative activities and methods which will be documented and shared on the eTwinning platform. At the end of the project a final report will be produced by each school that documents the transformations and changes taken place within the school and a manual that illustrates concrete daily actions to create a more sustainable school. Starting from the main objective it will create positive effects (a) on the development and quality of each kindergarten (a“re-thought“, changed and improved school), (b) on the educational local context (in some territories of our partnership there is still the strong need to sensiblize the importance of nature for the development of children and to be or become like a “lighthouse” in order to stimulate experimenting of this pedagogical approach also in other contexts and educational centers) and (c) on the well-being of all members of the educating community (including families).

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