Learning to teach in nature
Nature can be a wonderful classroom for teaching any subject in the world. This was the rationale behind the study session that took place this week at Ramat Hanadiv. About 60 educators from the region of the partnership participated in a range of workshops that exposed them to the wonderful experience of open-air learning. The pending spring provided a fitting and supporting backdrop for the experience.
This is the first session of its kind organized by the education division of the Partnership for Regional Sustainability, with the purpose of providing practical tools for educators and teachers, thus allowing them to diversify the learning environment and to teach almost any subject they like within the local natural landscape. The experience of learning in nature connects both students and teachers to their living environment and encourages awareness and consideration for it. This experience also provides release from the study routine, arouses the senses and the imagination and encourages thinking outside the box.
The participants at the session took part in diverse workshops, including: A Natural Landscape for Learning – teaching mathematics and language in nature, What is the Relationship Between One Vulture and Another? – scientific research in the local environment, Generous Garden – the garden as a space that fosters creativity, Community Involvement – from learning to action, and workshops on the medicinal plants in our environment.
Irit Lador, Head of Education at the Partnership for Regional Sustainability emphasizes that this kind of learning is accepted in different places around the world and has already proved itself in increased enjoyment from the classes, and accordingly, in improved student behavior, as well as in their affinity for the study material and improved achievement. “From a large study performed in England we learn that not only did the students benefit, the teachers also reported increased enjoyment from teaching and from expanding their professional development in new directions,” Lador adds.
Concrete and current evidence for this was at the end of the workshop, when participants left with “a taste for more” and asked to be invited to a follow-up workshop.
And the follow-up will surely come…