Under an Open Sky
Start date: Jul 31, 2014,
End date: Apr 29, 2015
Context/background of the project
The project was about a seminar and conference on outdoor education that was called “Under the open sky: Supporting healthy lifestyle and relationship to nature and society through outdoor engagement in youth work -European perspective. The event took place at Laugar in Sælingsdal, outdoor center, over four days from 3rd to 7th September 2014.
The project was organized by the National association of Nature and Outdoor schools (Samtök Náttúru og Útiskóla (SNÚ)), working in partnership with the University of Iceland and The European institute for Outdoor Education and Experiential learning (EOE), and partner organizations from around Europe. The partners were recommended by EOE, as organizations that had a track record of good practice and of cooperation at a European level
The project was initiated at a meeting in Stockholm of the Board of the EOE. During this meeting, through subsequent e-mail discussions and on a special preparation meeting in Iceland in February 2015, the theme of the seminar was developed.
The project aims to bring together experts and practitioners around the theme of outdoor learning as a means of Supporting healthy lifestyle and relationship to nature and society through outdoor engagement in youth-work - European perspective, with the following objectives:
- to share theoretical knowledge and experience
- to discuss and exchange good practice
- to develop new and more effective ways of working with young people in the outdoors
- to examine the role of place, nature and journeying in promoting young people´s well being
- to develop new projects through networking to involve young people directly
Number and type/profile of participants;
Eighty four participants took part in the conference and of them fifty participants were funded by the Erasmus+, 26 female and 24 male. Apart from these participants more than 30 local people attended the conference for one day or less. The age range of participants was from 25 years old to 65 years old.
Non-funded and funded participant came from Austria, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Scotland, Belgium, Spain, France, United States and the United Kingdom.
Description of undertaken activities;
The conference began with welcoming of participants, introduction to the program and team building and social activities. The program schedule included several keynote sessions, rich mixture of parallel oral presentations, (a total of 56 presentations throughout the conference) and workshops and outdoor activities, (a total of 11 outdoor workshop ). There was also one poster presentation session with more than 20 projects. In addition to the formal schedule of the conference there was also a range of local outdoor activities in Icelandic context of experiences and learning on the west coast of Iceland including; horse riding, bicycling tour, excursion to local farmers, museums and sagas etc. These activities where aimed to establish a connection between the participants and the local environment.
Results and impact attained; if relevant, longer-term benefits.
On a local level in Iceland we hoped that the project would be a catalyst for empowering outdoor learning in youth work and formal education.
After the conference a newsletter was published with a focus on information and news from the conference. See at a http://www.eoe-network.eu/fileadmin/PDFs/EOE_newsletter_01_2015.pdf
In December 2015 a Special issue on Outdoor Education was published in an electronic form under Netla http://netla.hi.is/introduction-in-english Here is a link to the special issue http://netla.hi.is/arslok-2015-a The special issue had peer-reviewed articles from the conference.
In relation with the conference couple of groups where started and old groups continued their work. One of the groups started is aimed to fight for outdoor education locally and internationally to parliament, school curriculum and so on.
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