The main intention of the Erasmus + KA2 Reinventing Outdoors for the Education ?ROUTE project was to include outdoor activities into the ordinary school curriculum in order to motivate students and to evolve the didactic methods of teaching about sustainability. Route and aimed at addressing the following two key EU priorities 2020:
By reinventing the outdoors for education we aimed at achieving increased knowledge regarding sustainability for the participating schools and their local society. This was made possible through giving the classroom a broader context, through extended with outdoor learning activities and by focusing on active and participatory education.
Four European secondary schools participated in the project: Hersby Gymnasium, Sweden (Coordinator), Ralleio Geniko Lykeio Thileon Piraia, Greece, Paide Gymnasium, Estonia and Agrupamento de Escolas de Mem Martins, Portugal. Each partner school brought along knowledge about a best practice in teaching sustainability from different viewpoints. Sweden has a long history of creative outdoor activities, Greece has implemented a set of sustainable school indicators to estimate the school?s attempt to turn sustainable, Estonians are excellent at youth entrepreneurship for creating sustainable businesses and Portugal has great knowledge about the ecological footprint of mankind on the planet.
The purposes of the transnational project meetings were:
The end product of the project was the design of learning activities for students that would test and share different teaching methods for outdoor activities. The participating teachers gained new professional experiences and a new insight into pedagogical techniques for teaching and learning interaction with the outdoors, which was incorporated in their curriculum. The participating students were expected to gain a different focal point in approaching, understanding and learning various school subjects which would, hopefully, motivate them more, thus contributing to fewer early school leavers. The interaction between students from different countries led to new friendships, new ideas about future carriers, and a broader view on future studies in EU or new possibilities in other EU countries through the Europass.
ROUTE strived to make sustainability part of each participating school?s curriculum and part the everyday life of the participants. To be able to make substantial changes for a sustainable environment in Europe we need to make sustainability part of our way of thinking.