INSTITUTE FOR FOREST PEDAGOGICS

The Institute for Forest Pedagogics has been operating since 2010 as a non-governmental and non-profit organisation registered as a private institute. The institute’s activity focuses on teaching and educating children and the professional teaching staff about natural ecosystems, and introducing them to pedagogical approaches in nature, focusing on Slovenian forests. Its staff also carries out scientific and research activities, writes scholarly and popular articles, and prepares professional guidelines for outdoor education.

Background

1700

Members of professional teaching staff participating in 35 seminars and professional training programmes

3000

More than 3000 children participating in forest workshops

4

Professional handbooks – Povabilo v gozd srečnih otrok/Invitation to the Forest of Happy Children (2012), Otroci potrebujejo gozd/Children Need the Forest (2014), Gozd oblikuje življenje/The Forest Shapes Life (2015), Gremo mi v gozd/Let’s Go to the Forest (2016) and Zelena učna okolja: Prednosti učenja v naravi za otroke s posebnimi potrebami/Green Learning Environments: Advantages of Learning in Nature for Children with Special Needs (2018)

1

Establishment of the Development Consortium of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools in 2014

117

Members in the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools in 2018

6

Participation in 6 European projects as a partner or subcontractor

Background
Want to be informed about events and seminars? APPLY NOW!

Areas of Operation

1.

The institute is building on natural science work methods with emphasis on learning about and promoting Slovenian forests and sustainable management, with the desire to bring natural sciences and scientific and research activities closer to the children and youth.

2.

It is researching what the forest as a classroom and a source of ideas can offer to all subjects or curriculum areas; in the process it is contemplating on various didactic approaches, striving towards the development of active and modern teaching methods in nature and with nature.

3.

It is researching the impact of nature on the health and development of children and of their values.

OUR PARTNERS

The institute is collaborating with the Slovenian Forestry Institute, the Slovenia Forest Service, the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana, the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, the National Institute of Public Health, private organisations, and numerous Slovenian schools and kindergartens, which are a part of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools. It has also joined the European Forest Pedagogy Network and collaborates with many partners throughout Europe.

WHO WE ARE

IMG_7145

M. Sc. Natalija Gyӧrek

Natalija is engaged in the professional development of forest pedagogics. She encourages teaching staff to introduce forest kindergartens and forest schools, holds seminars and professional training programmes at home and abroad, and educational programmes in natural environments. She is also experienced in expert evaluations and research work. She prepares, manages and implements European projects. She is the founder and initiator of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools, a consultant to the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, a lecturer at a technical college, and the author of professional handbooks on forest pedagogics. She graduated from the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources of the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, and completed an interdisciplinary master’s study programme in Environmental Protection at the University of Ljubljana.

Zavihek-Inštitut-Peter-Železnikar-1

Peter Železnikar

Peter has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and is the director of the Institute for Forest Pedagogics. He is in charge of its formal operation and strategic development. He is otherwise employed by CMC GROUP d.o.o., where he performs the tasks of a project engineering manager.

mija_bokal

Mija Bokal

At the Institute for Forest Pedagogics Mija is in charge of public relations. She makes sure that the institute’s information about events, seminars, publications and current goings-on reaches the people it is meant to. At the institute, she assists with the development of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools, and takes part in project preparation.

Ursa_zgodba-o-gozdovih

PhD Urša Vilhar

Urša is engaged in the professional development of forest pedagogics. Under the Institute for Forest Pedagogics she holds seminars and professional training programmes at home and abroad, and educational programmes in nature; she takes part in developing the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools. She is otherwise employed by the Slovenian Forestry Institute as a researcher of forest ecology. She prepares, manages and implements domestic and European projects. She graduated from the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, and holds a doctorate in Forestry Sciences from the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana.

uroš_gp

Uroš Jelen

Uroš is a physical education professor and a kinesiotherapy specialist. In 2008, he graduated from the Faculty of Sport, and continued his studies in England at Keele University, where he studied the movement of a person as a whole. He deepened his knowledge at the Nürnberg Institute of Sport Science and Sport in Germany, where he completed a training programme in preventive exercises for the spine. At the institute he is raising awareness among the teaching profession and children of the importance of movement in nature, while his hands-on workshops in nature never cease to excite with their ideas and implementation. He is the author of the handbook Naravno gibanje otrok/Natural Movement of Children.

Background

GREEN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Electronic version: Green Learning Environments

Electronic version: The Benefits of (Learning in) Nature for Children with Special Educational Needs

Electronic version: Policy brief

REFERENCES

Implementation of full-day seminars on the topic of forest pedagogics for the teaching staff: • Conference Zelena učna okolja part 2: prednosti učenja v naravi za otroke s posebnimi potrebami/Green Learning Environments: Advantages of Learning in Nature for Children with Special Needs, 5 February 2019, Kamnik •Conference Zelena učna okolja: prednosti učenja v naravi za otroke s posebnimi potrebami/Green Learning Environments: Advantages of Learning in Nature for Children with Special Needs, 7 November 2018, Hrovača near Ribnica • Z orlom belorepcem po kočevskih gozdovih III – usposabljanje iz gozdne pedagogike in interpretacije narave/With a White-Tailed Eagle through the Forests of Kočevje III – Training in Forest Pedagogics and Interpretation of Nature, 7 and 8 September 2018, Kočevska Reka
• International seminar Narava in otroci ne poznajo meja/Nature and Children Know No Bounds, 28 and 29 August 2018, Zgornja Bela and Preddvor
• Učenje z naravo/Learning with Nature, 15 May 2018, Kočevska Reka
• Z orlom belorepcem po kočevskih gozdovih II – usposabljanje iz gozdne pedagogike in interpretacije narave/With a White-Tailed Eagle through the Forests of Kočevje II – Training in Forest Pedagogics and Interpretation of Nature, 4 and 5 May 2018, Kočevska Reka
• Gremo mi v gozd/Krenimo u šumo/Let’s Go to the Forest, 30 March 2018, Pula
• Gibanje v naravi-ključ do otroka/Movement in Nature – The Key to the Child, 15 March 2018, Bohor
• Gozdna pedagogika in gozdni vrtci ter vpliv narave na razvoj otrok/Forest Pedagogics and Forest Kindergartens and Nature’s Impact on Children’s Development, 31 March 2017, Pula
• Z orlom belorepcem po kočevskih gozdovih – usposabljanje iz gozdne pedagogike in interpretacije narave/With a White-Tailed Eagle through the Forests of Kočevje – Training in Forest Pedagogics and Interpretation of Nature, 29 and 30 August 2017, Kočevska Reka
• Občutimo gozd in se izrazimo v umetnosti in gibanju/Let’s Feel the Forest and Express Ourselves in Art and Movement, 15 May 2017, Maribor
• Pouk izven učilnice/SOS – School OutSide, 19 April 2017, Zg. Bela near Preddvor
• Gremo mi v gozd! Od gozdnih zamisli v gozdna dejanja/Let’s Go to the Forest! From Forest Ideas to Forest Actions, 18 September 2016, Zg. Bela near Preddvor
• »IN MOTU VITA«, v gibanju je življenje/“IN MOTU VITA”, in Movement Is Life, 19 May 2016, Preddvor
• Je učenje lahko pustolovščina?/Can Learning Be an Adventure?, 19 April 2016, Maribor
• Gozd kot ustvarjalno vzgojno-učno okolje/The Forest as a Creative Educational and Learning Environment, 12 May 2015, Velika Kostrevnica
• »Gozdni vrtec« se predstavi/The “Forest Kindergarten” Introduces Itself, Part II, 15 October 2014, Kamnik
• »Gozdni vrtec« se predstavi/The “Forest Kindergarten” Introduces Itself, Part I, 15 April 2014, Kamnik
• Gozd eksperimentov/Forest of Experiments, 11 May 2014, Ljubljana
• Gremo v gozd/Let’s Go to the Forest, 27 March 2014, Ljubljana
• Gozdni vrtec, gozdna šola 3/Forest Kindergarten, Forest School 3, 28 August 2013, Motnik
• Gozdni vrtec, gozdna šola 2/Forest Kindergarten, Forest School 2, 8 May 2013, Velika Kostrevnica
• Gozdni vrtec, gozdna šola 1/Forest Kindergarten, Forest School 1, 13 February 2013, Kamnik

Meetings of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools: ⦁ Prvo srečanje Mreže gozdnih vrtcev in šol Slovenije/First Meeting of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools, 28 August 2013, Motnik ⦁ Drugo srečanje Mreže gozdnih vrtcev in šol Slovenije/Second Meeting of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools, 11 June 2015, Kočevje

Preparing calls for applications for Slovenian schools and kindergartens: ⦁ Gozd oblikuje življenje/The Forest Shapes Life, 2014/15 school year

Handbooks on the topic of forest pedagogics:
⦁ Povabilo v gozd srečnih otrok/Invitation to the Forest of Happy Children (2012)
⦁ Otroci potrebujejo gozd/Children Need the Forest (2014)
⦁ Gozd oblikuje življenje/The Forest Shapes Life (2015)
⦁ Gremo mi v gozd/Let’s Go to the Forest (2016)
⦁ Zelena učna okolja: Prednosti učenja v naravi za otroke s posebnimi potrebami/Green Learning Environments: Advantages of Learning in Nature for Children with Special Needs (2018)

Scientific review article: Györek N., 2013. “Gozdna pedagogika v Sloveniji – priložnost za povezovanja in nova znanja./Forest Pedagogics in Slovenia – an Opportunity for Connections and New Knowledge.” Znanstvena razprava, Gozdarski vestnik, letnik 71, št. 4, Ljubljana, 225-235.

Scholarly article: Györek, N., 2012. “Gozd za učenje in življenje./The Forest for Learning and Life.” Trajnostni razvoj v šoli in vrtcu: revija za globalni razvoj kurikula. Zavod RS za šolstvo, Ljubljana, 55-62.

Published technical conference papers: Györek, N., 2010. “Forest Pedagogy in Slovenia.” Collection of Conference Papers. Encountering, Experiencing and Exploring Nature in Education. European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning (EOE), Centre for School and Outdoor Education Slovenia, Ljubljana, 298-304. Györek N., 2013. “Otroci potrebujejo gozd./Children Need the Forest.” Bilten, Ekologija za boljši jutri. VIII. Mednarodni znanstveni posvet-Konferenca “Ekologija za boljši jutri”, NUK, Ljubljana, ISBN 978-961-93275-3-1.

Attendance at international congresses: ⦁12th European Forest Pedagogics Congress, 3 – 6 October 2017, Milovy, Czech Republic. Workshop – Green Learning Environments for Children with Special Educational Needs
⦁7th European Forest Pedagogics Congress, 2 – 5 October 2012, Scotland;
Györek N., 2012. Forest of Happy Children; http://www.forestpedagogics.eu/index.php/annual-congress/2012-dunkeld-scotlanduk
⦁10th European Forest Pedagogics Congress, 28 September – 2 October 2015, Slovakia

Project partner: ⦁Naravna okolja spodbujajo učenje in razvoj otrok s posebnimi potrebami/Natural Environments Stimulate the Learning and Development of Children with Special Needs (ERASMUS+) 2016 – 2018, ongoing project
⦁Srce narave nas povezuje (Evropski sklad za razvoj podeželja)/The Heart of Nature Connects Us (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) 2012 – 2014 – key results: Establishment of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools and of the website of the Slovenian Network of Forest Kindergartens and Schools
⦁Povabilo v gozd/Invitation to the Forest (dynAlp-Climate Programme), 2011 – 2012 – key results: The platform of innovative forest pedagogics, which has been spreading successfully throughout Slovenia; the handbook Povabilo v gozd srečnih otrok/Invitation to the Forest of Happy Children

Awards: Within the framework of the conference Allianz in den Alpe, the project Povabilo v gozd/Invitation to the Forest was chosen as the best project under the dynAlp-Climate Programme.