|Sumár projektu:||Birds are fascinating animals, numbering over 10,000 species worldwide. They are of great ecological significance. Already some years ago, British scientists have warned that Europe's bird population has declined by 421 million birds over the past thirty years, which is approximately one fifth of the total.
According to Jan Gugh, SOS/Birdlife SK, what could also help decreasing this decline, is to “closely monitor birds and cultivate children's relationship with nature”. At the same time, to establish a bird garden that will offer the bird a year-round source of food, nesting possibilities, water source, shelters. People generally have poor biodiversity-identification skills. Misconceptions about species, including birds, are common amongst children and, if not addressed, can persist into adulthood.
Another problem is, that children nowadays, esp. in urban areas, are more disconnected from nature than ever before, leading to “extinction of experience” with the natural world. Yet there are many benefits from children interacting with nature first-hand, including via outdoor learning. Environmental education programmes typically aim to increase awareness and knowledge of local biodiversity and to promote positive attitudes and behaviour towards it. However, limited research has been conducted evaluating to what extent these interventions achieve their goals. The evidence suggests childhood nature experiences can positively affect adult environmental attitudes and behaviour. Possessing basic animal and plant identification skills is often emphasised as a prerequisite for understanding and appreciating biodiversity. Programmes incorporating action-based outdoor learning are believed to be particularly beneficial. There are multiple benefits of outdoor learning within school grounds.
Also, there is increasing support for the idea that human attitudes to animals may be indicative of human–human empathy and also that knowledge and attitudes are related.
In some countries, positive attitudes of children are formed not only through knowledge, but also through emotional education and development of emotional competences. Feelings are needed also for the development of relation of us as human beings to animal species and nature.
In our project we´ll believe that EQ and social & emotional competences can also influence children attitudes and knowledge and positively enhance them.
Therefore, in the project, we set up a hypothsesis, that if schools develop programmes, combining the aspects of social & emotional education, with the use of the outdoors, running small environmental projects - bringing nature back to schools, the children knowledge, attitudes and emotional intelligence can increase at the same time.
In the project, 4 countries will join and form a partnership with the aim to carry out the research, and develop and test new methodology of working with children aged 4 - 6, focused on learning about biodiversity - nature and bird species, social & emotional learning supporting empathy with other beings (humans and the animals/birds) with the use of the outdoors even more enhancing learning process, so called „3 in 1“ concept. School activities, running paralelly in SK, ES, MT & UK will be coordinated by 16 early years teachers, who will be trained in the project through 2 teacher trainings. 4 project outputs, related to development and pilot testing of new methodology, will include Research study on the impact of new methodology on children knowledge, attitudes & competences, Teachers´ guide and Training programme related to it, and Compendium of good – practices as a result of pilot testing of activities at school level, based on „3 in 1“ concept, in practice. We expect the new methodology to help increasing children knowledge of nature/bird species, form pro – environmental attitudes & develop their social and emotional competences.
Project should be carried out transnationaly due to the know – how that will be brought by each partner organisation and the common values, that we, as a partnership, share.|