Various images of forestry and PAWS logo (pedagogische arbeit im wald, teaching in the wild)
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PAWS-MED - project summary

In a context of increased urbanization of society, of climate and environmental change and in a context of globalisation and a growing relevance of forests there is a ever but greater need for a sound comprehension of the multiple dimensions of forest and forestry. Forest pedagogics or "Waldpädagogik" is a priority area for developing a shared comprehension of forests and their role in helping to solve the enormous challenges we are currently facing.

However, most foresters of Mediterranean countries either have a limited education in the pedagogical area or none at all. Therefore the products the former Leonardo project PAWS developed will be transfered and adapted to the needs of the Mediterranean countries. Furthermore multipliers and foresters will be trained in the use of the whole PAWS concept.

PAWS - project summary

Self-sustaining development is of crucial importance for the formation of a future-aware perspective for humanity. In opposition to this knowledge stands today's increasing distance of humans from nature and the natural processes and interdependencies.

Thereby, the forest in particular offers, as an ecological terrain, unlimited possibilities as a teaching, illustrative and learning object.

Therefore it is particularly important that this information and the knowledge of ecological interdependencies should be made with the broadest possible group of people. This task is taken on increasingly by foresters within the framework of their general work tasks. The problem with that, however, is that foresters, in the pedagogical area, have had either a limited education, or none at all.

Therefore there is a lack of profound pedagogical foundations and concepts, as well as knowledge of different propagation methods, to adequately further the actual knowledge...

This problem cannot be solved through the use of so-called "middlemen", such as teachers or educators, as this way important information, and above all, authenticity, are lost (children normally want to hear it directly from the forester, and not through some other middle person).

Moreover, the foresters lack the pedagogical background knowledge, to develop concepts for new target groups, such as the disabled or senior citizens, as well as general standards in mediating knowledge, according to guidelines.

Complicating the situation is the lack of adequate possibilities to build these rudiments, independent of time and place constraints, and gain feedback while learning.

goal of the project

On the basis of these needs, it is the goal of the project to develop a course which reorients the careers of foresters. The course should offer foresters the possibility, independent of place or time with regards to learning methods, to build their knowledge of pedagogical principles and concepts.

Within the budget, the following is foreseen:

  1. Building of self-learn material in CD Rom format, with supporting handbook.
  2. Workshops, where learners can implement examples they have learned practically.
  3. Tutorials during the self-learning phase.
  4. Building of a website including FAQ and forum.

course material

The course material should have the following contents:

  1. Pedagogical principles and concepts.
  2. The conveyance of special themes (local history, environment, etc.)
  3. Methods of imparting knowledge (lectures, games, discoveries, etc.)
  4. Dealing with special target groups such as children, youths, grown-ups, physically disabled, e.g. blind groups.

The course should ultimately also be a step in the development of a coherent, uniform set of standards, so that an important contribution with regards to pedagogical competence in the conveyance of forest-related themes in Central Europe should be achieved.

image of a tree

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

© 2004 the PAWS project