In April, the first 13 teachers from the southeastern part of the Făgăraș Mountains became nature-based educators, within an innovative educational programme proposed by ProPark-Foundation for Protected Areas.
The Nature-based Educator programme is addressed to teachers in the vicinity of the Făgăraș Mountains who want to learn how to bring nature into their lessons. Through this interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program they find out how to include in their activities topics and solutions to current environmental problems such as biodiversity loss, climate change or excessive use of natural resources.
The programme is carried out in two stages and is conducted through unique, efficient and attractive activities: Bison Day, Sharing Nature activities, exploring outdoors, play-role and experiments. These activities, as well as the teaching materials and lesson plans developed within this programme are meant to facilitate learning and connect children with nature, in a relaxed, simple and interactive way.
The first session of the programme was attended by teachers from schools in Rucăr, Lerești, Valea Mare Pravăț, Podu Dâmboviței and Nucșoara from Argeș County, with teachers from middle school and high school having different specialties.
The Nature-based Educator programme will continue until the end of the year with other teachers around the Făgăraș Mountains, who will learn how to facilitate children’s contact with the environment and investigate with them other models of understanding nature as the basis of life on Earth.
“From a broad perspective, we want to build a national network of nature-based educators to encourage new generations to be aware of the risks of biodiversity loss, to grow beautifully and to design their future in harmony with nature,” said Andra Croitoru, project manager, ProPark- Foundation for Protected Areas.
Why do we need nature-based education programmes?
Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time outdoors knows that nature resonates deep within us, serving not only as a conduit for understanding ourselves, but for connecting with community and understanding the broader world around us. The natural world is alive with spontaneity and unexpected lessons at every turn. Unlike predictable games, the surprises a young learner discovers outdoors promote problem-solving skills, scientific and mathematical exploration, language and preliteracy skills. We desire a secure future for our children, we want them having access to development. Sustainable development means balanced growth for people, nature and for the economy. And together, we as adults, mentors, parents and teachers, must support children to become active, informed and involved adults, who have the ability to get directly concerned in finding sustainable solutions for their own future.
About the LIFE Carpathia project
The Educator for Nature program is developed within the project LIFE18 NAT/RO/001082 – “Creation of a Wilderness Reserve in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania” and has as its main objective the development of a conservation-based economy, combining the local economy, development and job creation with long-term nature conservation objectives in the Făgăraș Mountains.
Financial support from: The European Commission through the LIFE Nature programme (www.ec.europa.eu) and the Arcadia Foundation through the ELP program (Endangered Landscapes Programme, www.endangeredlandscapes.org). The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union.