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WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER Regina Kliminskiene Panevezys Nature School, Lithuania 2008-10-31 Education performs a basic role encouraging society public changes and provides necessary competence for the people solving environmental and public problems Greater attention is usually delivered to formal education but if we are talking upon ecological problems it is necessary to emphasize the significance of children’s informal environmental education. Why do we have to do it? Mere knowledge is insufficient for explicit environmental education A CHINESE PROVERB SAYS: „Tell them and they will forget. Demonstrate them and they will remember. Involve them and they will understand“. Average Retention Rate Lecturing – 5 %; Reading – 10%; Audiovisual – 20%; Demonstration – 30%; Discussion group – 50%; Practice by doing - 75%; Teaching others – 80%; The most important that responsible, cohesive solutions or environmentally friendly way of life couldn't be implemented only by the received information Why do we act the way we do? / By Lars Ryden, 1996 / 1. The logical answer - because the law says so. 2. The social answer - because everybody else does. 3. The psychological answer - because we feel it is right. 4. The instrumental answer - because it is the most rational. 5. The ethical answer - because we respect certain values. How often ethics influences our behavior? Until we still lack a clear answer to philosopher E. From’s question “To have or to be?” the Nature Schools are not luxury but the necessity. When we are seeking sustainable development it is very important to form environmental values. PROPOSALS Include children informal environmental educational items enhancing the activities of Nature schools into the Baltic Sea Strategy Action Programme 2009 – 2015. Create the Nature schools network in the Baltic Region. We are stronger together! NATURE SCHOOL OF PANEVEZYS Status; History; Vision; Mission; Philosophy; Activities; More information www.gamtosmokykla.lt Nature School of Panevezys is non-profit school of informal environmental education, financed from the municipal budget. The school was established in an old pre- war lawyer Česlovas Petraškevičius’ homestead. Its territory encompasses the area over 4 hectares where natural objects intertwine with educational spaces, exhibitions of zoological collections, playing tracks, flower gardens, arable land lots, equipment of the environmental park exhibitions, etc. The school is open to everyone who is interested in an environmentally friendly life style and to those willing to learn more about taking care of animals and plants and longing for closer contacts with nature. “Enter being good and leave having become better” – such is a short description of an educational – informational – recreational space dedicated to a Man’s reconciliationto with Nature. THE SCHOOL VISION Nature school is integrated into a common educational space of harmonious development providing informal environmental education for children and cherishing a special educational environment – an open focus of environmental education for local community. THE SCHOOL MISSION To provide informal environmental education for children who have voluntary chosen extra competence programs, to organise other educational activities cherishing respectable responsibility for nature and environmentally friendly behaviour and to create an open focus of environmental education for local community. THE SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY “You become eternally responsible with whom you make friends“. This expression is from a prominent writers Antuan de Sent –Egziuperi’s book „The Little Prince“ and it has become the basis of the school training philosophy. „Proximity of real nature, experienced feelings and active environmental activity becomes an eternal responsibility for everything alive“. Friendship with nature, close connections with environmental surrounding objects and phenomena create a favourable background for the development of the system of valuable rules during the research processes. The school acts under the guidance of “the strategy of the silent training of valuables“: we respect and love who we know; we respect what is grand and divinely perfect; we love those who need care and compassion; we love what is useful and we love work of certain activities; we love what is beautiful; we love what is joyful for us. Especially for that reason the school exhibits the collection of animals, shelters and takes care of different wild animal representatives having experienced disasters and conducts outdoor educational activities. Children attend Nature School one day every week in the afternoon and are enrolled for the entire school year. Classes run for 35 weeks from September until June. Every school year about 400 children take part in the program activities. The school pupils are engaged into other activities: competitions, contests and other events. Various self-expression forms enable children of different capabilities deepen their knowledge about the surrounding world and children in order to establish closer contacts with nature. The school community creates an open focus of environmental education and valuables for the local community – the park of environmental exhibitions. “The Reconciliation Park of a Man and Nature” (an eco-park) – is an original educational space where the objects of nature are in close consistency with equipped educational – recreational spaces dedicated to the treasuring of environmental educational culture and the development of environmentally friendly life style. Valuable regulations, ways of solutions of ecological problems or environmentally friendly application are demonstrated by visual means congealing declarations in material expressions like spatial sculptures, the pieces of art of the Earth, applied in active and demonstration models, stands, installations, etc. It is a very attractive space which does not curry favour to consuming culture either by its contents or forms. It is dedicated to the family leisure time, the development of youth self- expression and recreation. Here the conditions have been formed for the city community members to learn about different ecological problems and their solution ways. At present the school has following exhibitions: “Let’s choose renewable energy“ (wind and sun power station); ”Let’s drink clean water“ (an ecologically equipped well); “Let’s sort the waste“ (a waste sorting ground); “Let’s make compost“ (a composting ground); “Let’s take care of biodiversity “ (a refuge – hospital for wild animals).
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