A key in transforming towards global sustainability lies in the integration of nature into daily life. This also implies for all teaching activities and related paradigms. Yet students generally report a disconnect from the green outdoors. If they are to be the future green leaders, this is something to address directly. If they do not feel connected, how will their work or presence gain any impact? The problem of disconnect runs deep. The nature-culture dichotomy that lies at the heart of Western nature conservation is thus still strengthened in academia today.
Positively, the last years have seen the development of several elective courses at Wageningen University that offer embodied outdoor education allowing students to question their worldview and values relating to sustainability. The demand for these courses is high, and students describe a transformative effect of these learning experiences. What does this mean for the future of education, at WUR and beyond? To what extend is it the responsibility of higher education to offer such courses?
We invite students and educators at Wageningen University and other educational institutions for a unique dialogue on this matter. We aim for an opening up, of possibilities and collaboration, within Wageningen campus as well as across educational institutions. We hope to inspire by introducing several viewpoints, including those from a national perspective and a ‘nature-inclusive agenda’ that is currently being prepared; and simply by evaluating those courses that have already started.
There is room for 250 people, we hope this is enough. Please, feel free to share this invite amongst those that matter to you and this issue.
To initiate a broad conversation among educators on the emerging trends in and demands for nature-inclusive education for sustainability
To introduce and discuss the potential impact of nature-inclusive learning methods
To discuss what this might mean for transforming education at WUR and beyond.
To introduce and discuss pathways leading to nature-inclusive education
Educators at Wageningen University and other higher educational institutions
NatureCollege and other institutions offering nature-inclusive learning methods
Policy makers: OCW/LNV
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
by Nature College and Omnia: setting the stakes of the conversation: the potential impact of nature-inclusive learning methods in boosting awareness around pressing sustainability issues.
Prof. Noelle Aarts (Radboud University Nijmegen), expert on conflict, negotiation, communication and dialogue and the newly appointed domain leader for the LNV program ‘nature-inclusive’: pillar education and awareness.
Prof. Maria Tengö, newly appointed professor of the WUR/NatureCollege special chair Human-Nature Relationships in the Anthropocene.
introducing three WUR elective courses: setting an image of what nature-inclusive education looks like concretely, including: student experiences.
with embodied nature assignment to the participants and exchange on nature-experience
on Nature-inclusive education. Fishbowl, starting with 6-7 participants, then inviting others to take a seat on the empty chairs to join the dialogue.
Proposition for the dialogue: ‘We are lacking training in key competencies in the Wageningen curriculum’:
Learning with and in nature: physical, embodied outdoor learning
Being able to investigate and question different perspectives and worldviews
The student’s ability to reflect on their (inner/emotional) relationship to the world and what is going on in it.
These competencies are relevant and urgent because:
Wageningen University wants to educate professionals for this day-and age that are able to contribute to solutions to pressing global issues.
There is a growing demand among existing and prospective students for more holistic education that does not only address cognitive learning, but includes personal growth, wellbeing and leadership topics.