Studiebesök Soka University USA
Initiated by Prof. Deike Peters and Kentaro Shintaku, Class of 2023
In January 2020, a group of twelve students and their professor at Soka University of America (SUA) had the opportunity to go on a twelve day “Learning Cluster” study trip to study outdoor education in Sweden and Denmark. This website documents their learning experience. You can learn more about these so-called “Learning Clusters,” which are signature features of the SUA curriculum here
In this Learning Cluster, our initial focus was to explore and re-evaluate the importance that early and sustained engagement with nature has both for us as individuals and for society as a whole – and how the budding field of environmental education relates to Soka education. More specifically, we wanted to focus on the way that outdoor learning has been integrated into childhood education in Northern European countries, most notably Sweden and Denmark, with their rich tradition of forest preschools, nature schools and friluftsliv (literally: “free air life”). We wanted to learn from and experience first-hand how children and youth who grew up with the benefits of sustained outdoor education and experience integrate this ecological literacy and environmental awareness into other aspects of their lives. (Is it mere coincidence, for example, that the world’s most prominent young climate activist, Greta Thurnberg, hails from Sweden? And why is the #fridaysforfuture youth climate activism generally more vibrant and engaged in Europe than in the U.S. or elsewhere?) We were keenly interested in the specific pedagogies of outdoor education and how these might differ in different cultural contexts. We applied for an international travel grant to visit and experience several forest preschool and forest garden programs first-hand and to learn from the many experienced educators and academics that have developed, refined and researched the related outdoor education programs in Sweden and Denmark.
På hemsidan finns massor av bilder och texter från alla 12 ställen de besökte.
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