Environmental education is a field that includes many learning disciplines, which develops knowledge, awareness, critical attitude, values and skills, which will enable individuals and society to preserve and improve the quality of the environment where they live. This is one of the main definitions of environmental education and emphasizes some key words, very important in its proper meaning, so that it is not confused with environmental information. Careful! Environmental information is not environmental education. Environmental education teaches critical thinking, raises public awareness, guides environmental problem solving, whereas environmental information does not.
Environmental education is the cornerstone to growing a responsible society for the future of our planet. And as such, it encourages us to work and cooperate with national and international partners to acquire new techniques and methods in this direction.
The next step was participation in the course “Training of young environmental trainers”, organized by YEE (Youth and Environment Europe) and FӦJ e.V. (Voluntary Ecological Year) with the support and funding of the Erasmus+ program. This training was held March 20-28, 2015 in Wiek, Rügen, Germany and brought together 30 young people from 12 countries around the world. Oz Osborne, Nik Paddison and Esther Vallado were the three trainers who taught us non-formal methods of environmental education. The methods used during the training were such as: learning by learning, (focused on the main elements such as preference, planning, implementation, responsibility, goals and feedback); Klob’s cycle which clearly explains how we can learn; how to make a work plan for environmental education and how we should behave in cases where we have challenging behavior from the group; how to design a project that focuses on environmental education and not environmental information, etc. The trainers also focused on some other important elements that primarily do not deal only with environmental education but with elements of everyday life.
Motivation and inspiration are two important elements of environmental education that an Eco-trainer must know how to use to increase the positive spirit of the group. Working in groups is a challenge in itself, because a fair cooperation is not always achieved where everyone works in his part, without trying to impose his ideas or by not cooperating at all or in some parts of the project. This training also emphasized the way of communication, presentation of information by clarifying to us and how it seems to use intonation, speed of words and body language. The presentations of the three trainers were designed in such a way that the acquired theoretical knowledge was alternated with educational games in nature and indoors. Each day of the training was designed so that each of the participants had the opportunity to show their creativity and at the same time prepare for the final stage which would culminate with the presentation of a Workshop. In no more than 40 minutes we had to summarize the learned methods in our own way for a new environmental project.
By: Earta Nuna/ EcoAlbania