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The D esire to Learn

The D esire to Learn

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The D esire to Learn

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  1. The Desire to Learn Gardening, Cooking and Passion in Outdoor Health Education The 4th European Conference on Health Promotion Schools Equity, Education and Health 7-9 October 2013 Odense, DK Karen Wistoft, professor PhD university of Greenland & University of Aarhus, Denmark

  2. ‘Gardens for Bellies’ Setting: organic farm in Denmark Research and evaluation: Environmental and Health Education, Department of Education, Aarhus University, Campus Copenhagen, DK Research management: Karen Wistoft

  3. Public school students grade

  4. ‘Gardens for Bellies’ 13.000 students has participated in the programme (2006-2013) From April to October school classes visit the site 8 times (schools days) together with their teachers Each class is given its own plot of land for gardening To encourage parentalinvolvementstudents bring their vegetables and recipes back home

  5. Educators at site • A gardener teaches the students to grow organic vegetables • In outdoor kitchens they cook together with a chef

  6. Organic agriculture • A farmer take the students in to the fields to explain about organic farming: food production and agriculture

  7. Nature explorer and adventure • A nature guide organizes adventure activities in the forest to explore the local nature

  8. Three didactic components

  9. Our evaluation • Observations of what and how the students learn, and whetherthey can use what they have learned about farming, gardening and cooking outside the ‘Gardens for Bellies’ setting • Do the teachers organize lessons that take into account the type of learning processes that develop the students’ subject relevant concepts based on their actions and experiences? • The extent to which ‘Gardens for Bellies’ can be integrated into school subjects and health education • Do the students relate their knowledge to other concrete health promotion actions or concepts?

  10. Evaluation method A. Literature review Green & Outdoor Education, Life Science Education, Health Education B. Qualitative data Field observationsduring8 months Individualinterviewswith principal organisers and consultants Focus group interviews: Teachers and pupils from 4 schools (N=98) Professional instructors (N=5) Parents (N=16) Workshops observations: Programme managers and instructors C. Quantitative data Questionnaire study of the parents views and knowledge about the outdoor education programme (N=195) analyzed in SPSS (IBM, 2011)

  11. Selected findings The evaluation shows that the outdoor learning presents a number of specific applications within outdoor health education Consequently, it also offers a variety of possibilities regarding differing perceptions of food (vegetable) quality and taste, as well as offering different options for the students It offers tools and professional competencies (as farmer, nature guide, gardener and chef) which can support the pupils in their active participation in outdoor teaching and learning

  12. Outdoor health education • The evaluation confirms the knowledge concerning action competence development and outdoor learning that is already reported • Nonetheless, it affirms an example of an unusual combination of nature, gardens, food and health

  13. Dedicated teaching • According to the pupils and parents dedicated teaching in this setting stimulate the desire to participate and learn among students – irrespective of gender, social background and school grade

  14. Comprehention? What reasonable explanation can be given of the observed motivation for learning that pupils and parents attributes? How can the dedication of teaching and learning in this setting be comprehended?

  15. Systems-theoretical interpretation • Possible explanations about the students’ desire to learn: • Links between action and experience based teaching (Luhmann, 1995) • ‘Passion of love’(Luhmann,1986; Andersen & Born, 2001)

  16. Love for what they do… The desire to learn and the learning outcome of the pupils is clearly linked to the strong commitment of the educators There is strong claim to suggest that these effects follow from the educator’s lovefor what they do The educators do not just tell about their love of what they do; they act to ensure that the pupils experience things in particular ways (according to Luhmann’s code of love)

  17. The educator’s identity • The educators’ passion is doubled by the passion to communicate their passion, as one instructor says: “my passion for showing the pupils my passion” • Way of life and passion are brought together, that the most important elements in the educators’ identity • It promote desire to learn among the students and meaningful partnerships • The educators are not only authentic but passionate

  18. Conclusions Students participated in the ‘Gardens for Bellies’ have highly motivation and desire to learn A number of the competencies they develop relate directly to the subject of health, as well as other school subjects Dedicated teaching on site provides an explanation as to why the desire to learn is stimulated among the pupils Interpreted in a systems-theoretical perspective: they are welcomed into a space of communicative action where their experiences are central, and the teaching is passionate