At each project meeting we take some time to do a reflection on the topic we deal with and on the meeting itself. But a lot of reflection also happens after the meeting as we discuss the meeting, new skills, experiences, people and knowledge with our collegues , students and parents or hink about them by ourselves here are some in depth reports and reflections of participants. They are focused on our impressions, feelings, new knowledge and ideas that can be used in our schools, outdoor education itself, its role in sustainable development. We
Is the pages below you have the ability to get yourself acquinted with everything we learned, improved or will try to use in the future.
As summary for the meeting Preiļi Free school as meeting hosts have reflected and evaluated about it.
First of all, one of the main elements in every process is about the participants. With our partners from Slovenia, Sweden, Spain and Bulgaria, we have come to come conslusions and experiences. One of the boldest is the easiest one, that changes is possible through seeing the experience, individual impressions, motivation, environment opportunities, our resources.
With outdoors and inclusion of outdoors into everyday activities we can see that there are challenges and obstacles.
1. Parents and shareholders
When parents, school leaderships are not on board with changes and inclusion of outdoors into curriculum or external school activities, then it becomes more harder for teacher or initiative group to create this integration and change. Therefore it is important to begin the integration of outdoors with creating common understanding and need for the integration. The small experimental steps are one way how it can be made. We have seen that when small changes are demonstrated, smaller activity is created then understanding increases. Within this meeting we shared with our partners the strategies that we have implemented and are still implementing to involve the parents in the process so there is support for our activities. This topic is connected with sustainable relationships as the next topic too.
2. Practice and team
Every institution needs to have practice and team that is willing to be involved and develop outdoor activities, to integrate them into curriculum. Additionally also support of other team members who ar enot directly involved in the outdoor activities is important too, as it creates the atmosphere and common understanding within school internal environment about the need. Within the meeting out outdoor experts and daily practicioners shared their approaches to their work and how they keep others in the school team involved. Team meetings are one way, integrated subjects, shadowing and inviting for participation.
As good practice examples within the meeting we have come up with:
1. Outdoors as new normal
Outdoor activities are percieved as normal way how education process can work and happen. School events could be moved to outdoors instead of indoors as a way to introduce more free and healthy opportunity for events.
Depending on the space, environment, climate and opportunities, creativity is one of the key aspects that we as all partners have come to as a key element for including change and developing process. We need to spot opportunities within our spaces and they will be different, but they will be creating the change that is needed to achieve the aim that is set.
Integrating outdoor experiences can be one of ways how to become more involved with local community as well as devlop key competences and skills. Within meetign we visited the local library, the Latvian national forest (guided by local forester), local Preili Park with guided app for tree recognition. These experiences have shown everyone that each space has their own opportunities.
Within the opportunities workshop we came up with ideas in shich activities the outdoors could be intergated or created.
Forest: construction play, observing nature, movement, sensory, art and music activities, games and orientation.
Park: meditation, relaxing, stories
Rivers, lakes, ponds,
Educational nature paths,
School outdoor spaces with natural materials,
Outdoor sports facilities (bikes, roller-skates, etc.)
Museums, galleries, exhibitions
City environment (observing the lifestyle, traffic, building, etc.)
Learning about the post office, stores, libraries, police, gas station, etc.
Historical places (castles, ruins, etc.)
Taking rides on bus, trains, boats,