LESSONS FROM NATURE - using insights from nature to inspire a brighter future.
This website has been developed by the partnership that is responsible for the 'Lessons from Nature: innovation towards teaching and learning for a green economy and society' Project, funded by the EU Comenius Lifelong Learning Programme.
Field Studies Council (UK) - lead partner
Children’s Environment School (Latvia)
Фондация „ТАЙМ” (Bulgaria)
Focus Eco Center (Romania)
Contact information for each of the partners can be found on the Contacts page of this website
Further information on the UK project team and its work is hosted on the Epping Forest Field Centre page of the FSC website and via facebook, twitter and Linked In.
WHY THIS PROJECT?
We live in an unsustainable world. Pressure on natural resources to drive the European economy is increasing year on year. We cannot continue to meet the needs and aspirations of Europe without significant changes to the way we live and consume. There is a need to promote learning that will change the way we design our economies, businesses and products. LfN (Lessons from nature) takes a unique approach to addressing this need.
Nature is inherently sustainable: it recycles waste efficiently, uses renewable power from the sun, is resilient to sudden changes, adaptable over time to new conditions, and self regulates through feedback. A truly green economy and society will share the same characteristics. Such approaches are being pioneered by businesses e.g. Interface, Nike, Wal-Mart, evidencing a real need for this approach to learning.
The overall objective will be to ‘develop innovative approaches to sustainable development that builds the capacity of schools and organizations working with young people to prepare students to take an active role in building the green economy and society.’
With this project we specifically aim to:
• Improve the capacity of schools and organisations working with young people to address sustainable development through the outdoor classroom in new and innovative ways, and integrate this into different curriculum areas.
• Provide young people with a wide range of experiences outside the classroom relevant to their participation in building the green economy and society.
• Produce new resources that link learning about natural ecosystems with the skills for building a green economy and society.
• Provide easy access to information, knowledge, expertise, guidance and resources.
• Share and enhance existing criteria for successful Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC).
• Develop a network of good practice amongst educators to continually share ideas and resources.
• Increase the profile of sustainable development and LOtC across the partner countries and the EU.
LfN will work with teachers and students engaging them in learning for a sustainable future, applying their learning to addressing real life issues and developing skills relevant to careers in the green economy and society. Qualitatively more students will be more highly motivated and have the skills to contribute to the green economy and society, and more teachers will have the skills, resources and confidence to teach sustainable development. To achieve our goals we will develop:
• Learning frameworks to show how LfN improves learning and develops transversal skills;
• Learning modules containing activities and teachers notes;
• A good practice guide to evaluating LfN;
• Shared criteria for successful outdoor learning; and
• Training for teachers with a focus on team based learning and critical thinking skills.
Teachers: direct target group who will implement and use project resources in their schools. Teachers will come from a variety of backgrounds including: biology, geography, economy and general sciences and citizenship.
Students: aged 12-16
Education providers: we will ensure that the project results are exploited to other providers through workshops, meetings, promotion and networking.
Local education departments: we will involve them at an early stage to ensure ‘buy in’ and encourage schools’ participation.
LfN is working in six countries reaching 180 secondary schools, 600 teachers and 7500 students.
BEGINNING: December 2010
END: May 2013
CO-FUNDED BY: European Commission, DG "Education and culture" - Lifelong Learning Programme/Comenius