Since we translated a Swedish textbook of Outdoor Education, Play and Learn Mathematic Outdoors, into Japanese and published in 2018, we have been woking to hold courses and workshops all around Japan promoting this children-centered way of learning. In the year of 2019 as well, we traveled around many educational sites to introduce the activities and the learning style as its background for the teachers and lecturers, outdoor leaders and interpreters, and parents and children.
Workshops in 2019 : 23 places around Japan with over 600 participants
We held courses at preschools, schools, and forest kindergartens in several Places. While teachers and parents are watching, children play outdoors and learn Math by using natural materials, comparing how big they are or searching the same / different groups. Many seemed to realize that children learn more actively with fun when they change the learning environment from inside to outdoors.
As we had a workshop as a training courses for the teachers that is officially-hosted by the educational bureau of Gifu prefecture, we saw the promising potential to adapt this program focusing on outdoor fields into public education system.
Preschools, Schools, and Forest Kindergarten
▲ Teacher training (gifu)
【Kyoto】Kodomo-no-Ie Preschool /【Sapporo】Seimei-no-Mori Preschool (teacher training)、Shingakusha /【Takasu-town】 Forest-kindergarten Pippara /【Sakura, Chiba】Sakura Satoyama Gakuen /【Ichihara, Chiba】Fukumasu Base, Anzu Nursery Home, Tokiwa Nursery Home /【Mino, Gifu】Teacher training course /【Ogawa Isle, Saga】Ogawa Elementary School
We had many workshops in the several places throughout Japan, as we got offers to come. We visited Sapporo, Gifu, and Nagasaki continuously from last year, also we traveled some new places includes Shimane, Okayama, or Kobe.
▲ International Symposium (Korea)
【Sapporo】Takino Nature School /【Kobe】Kaze Cabin Farm /【Sejong, Korea】Outdoor Education Symposium /【Niseko】 Niseko Yuiku-no-Kai /【Kyoto】Utano Youth Hostel /【Kamikawa】Daisetsuzan University /【Isahaya, Nagasaki】National Isahaya Youth Learning Center、Isahaya Kodomo-no-Shiro /【Mino, Gifu】Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture / 【Okuizumo】Okuizumo Education Network /【Kurashiki, Okayama】Nature Activities Support Center
▲ English Camp (Nagasaki)
In June, we are invited to attend the Outdoor Education Symposium which is held in Sejong, Korea, together with Mats from Nynäshamn Nature School in Sweden. We are honored to present our speech and introduce the activities amongst more than 100 participants. We noticed that Korea is now growing in the outdoor edu- cation with interest of nature-oriented preschool. The book Play and Learn Mathematic Outdoors will be translated in Korean, so we look forward to make an inter- national network in Asian countries.
In October, we had a “English Camp” program for school kids in Isahaya, Nagasaki, in cooperation with National Isahaya Youth Learning Center. Not only Outdoor Math program, we recognized well that even learning English or language in outside can be beneficial for children by using whole body and senses.
In total of 2019, we managed to have 23 courses and workshops in 12 prefecture, and we are able to meet over 600 participants. In each places, we met enthusiastic educators, outdoor leaders, and parents who strive to provide every child a valuable learning environment. As the needs for education changes and diversifies, a movement of creating alternative way of education such as nature-oriented learning, home-schooling, or even creating new kinds of school is now spreading as a way to distinguish it from traditional classroom lessons. We continue to promote outdoor education in cooperation with them as well as network- ing with teachers in public schools and preschools. We hope that the seeds of “playful learning outdoors” will grow and bloom in the every school grounds.
January 2019 / Text & Design : Kazane Yamamoto