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Empowering Teachers and Pupils for a Better Life through Nature
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main goal of the project is to enhance the quality of early years environmental education in order to develop children’s interest in and connection to nature and to achieve high quality learning outcomes that support basic core curriculum and lifelong learning skills. Teaching about nature is an excellent opportunity to develop a set of children's skills and competences important for achieving better effects of learning in different fields of education and then for the wellbeing of individuals and more sustainable future of communities. And yet nature education is often under appreciated and its potential ignored in national curricula at primary and early year levels. Many educators suffer from a lack of dedicated materials and examples of engaging activities for such children. This project is based on experiences of the already operating international educational project Spring Alive with its focus on migrating birds. The transnational dimension of the project is very important, bringing the best examples of how nature based education can deliver profound and lasting learning outcomes to countries and regions where the potential has not been realized. The international cooperation also provides a basis for future international networking. The practical knowledge and competence of pre-school and primary school teachers will be enhanced by providing them with training and resources. Resources will be available to educators running informal education through making the supporting materials widely accessible. The training workshop will provide an opportunity for exchanging teachers' experiences from their work at a transnational level. Academic educationalists and trainers will be engaged in the project to ensure the highest quality of the created resources.The project is addressed to teachers from rural areas and small towns to develop theirs skills and to enable them to access the most current knowledge, teaching practices and resources. 60 teachers from preschools and primary schools will participate in the training workshop. 360 teachers will take part in national training events.At least 2360 teachers from primary schools and pre-schools as well informal educators from European countries will download the materials after the delivery of the demonstration lessons and free access to the uploaded resources online. Activities planned during the 25 months:The 1st half of the project activities will be focussed on: research on the most important obstacles and challenges in area of environmental education in primary and pre-school education; determining the innovative teaching methods and content of resources to overcome these obstacles; developing a set of engaging and effective teaching materials (O2, O3).During the 2nd half of the project, activities will be focused on: continuing and finalizing the work on the teaching resources; adapting them to the partners national requirements (=language / curricula) ; implementing workshop for teachers; disseminating the materials through demonstrations lessons and meetings for media together with, mostly online, promotion.Both sets of the teaching materials (O2, O3) will be ready to use and presented at the workshop for teachers planned in May 2018 (see the attached project's timeline). We plan to deliver the following kinds of the educational resources:1. Set of nature themed educational materials for pre-school teachers in Europe (O2)2. Set of nature themed educational materials for primary school teachers in Europe (O3)3. Mobile application for children which will help them to learn issues related to nature in an interactive way, as a part of O3.The project goal is to provide teachers of preschools and primary schools across six countries with innovative, relevant teaching resources, support and training to enable them to deliver an effective nature themed programme of learning.The project will improve the communication and cooperation of the project partners and their interaction with the educational systems in their countries.All the intellectual project outputs will be available for teachers and educators on the Spring Alive national websites financed from other sources. They will continue to be used by teachers from countries where Spring Alive operates as each year, prior to Spring, they will be reminded and encouraged to use them. They will also continue to be available on the BL Partnership extranet for use of the BL Partners and teachers they work with. Thus the project effects will be multiplied during next years after the lifetime of the project.
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