Eco-schooling and Outdoor Education
“Ecological conversion leads the believer to develop his own creativity and enthusiasm.” (Pope Francis)
The experience shared with my co-trainer Giuseppe Perrotti and the Erasmus group about Eco-Outdoor schooling was exactly that: an experience that aroused curiosity, creativity and above all enthusiasm.
The ever more popular idea behind eco-outdoor schooling is the increasing awareness of our surroundings. That awareness that brings us to appreciate it, enhance it, safeguard it.
This idea is not always easy to implement with our students. Perhaps, of the idea that schooling should always be IN the classroom and not OUT. The fact that teachers are asked to take responsibility for their students’ welfare, the fact that it takes teachers more time to prepare lessons, materials, permission slips may all contribute to the notion that eco schooling is destined not to work.
This, although, has been proven wrong, here with Jump. The teachers that come from all over Europe have shown the desire and the need to change. They have shown the interest to save our environment. How? Firstly, by wanting to learn more about it. Secondly, putting that information into practice back in their own schools, in their countries of origin.
Here, with Giuseppe Perrotti, we have learned how to survive in the wilderness without too much comfort, we have understood better some facts about our natural surroundings here in Calabria, a little of our geography and of course our history. We have also learned about our local economy that has to do a lot with our outstanding environment: fishing, farming, breeding and last but not least, sustainable tourism: a ‘greener’ way of greeting tourists that at the same time are not only looking for a good holiday but looking for more natural ways of enjoying it. For example, more genuine food rather than fast low-quality food, being accommodated at small quaint farmhouses and not big luxurious hotels, bike pedalling instead of cars and taxis.
Eco-outdoor schooling can start offering our young learners how to do it. The awareness that one, is our world and unfortunately, we do not have second chances. Preventing the numerous ways of polluting, recycling, reusing, reducing, refilling, and most of all appreciating our natural habitat, wanting to protect it and safeguarding it for future generations to admire.
With experiences like ours, teachers feel encouraged and invigorated to go back to their students and share what they have learned and just maybe, spark that ‘ecological conversion’ that we first started off with.
Teresa Platì, JUMP Trainer