Environmental Education Programme

Published: 09 May 2018
Last edited: 01 April 2019

A comprehensive environmental education program was developed for all levels of basic education, from pre-school to 12th year and including professional training. It includes activities adapted to the learning curriculum of each year. This way, school children would get information about nature conservation and its benefits while learning relevant concepts for their education. These activities are also offered to non-formal educational groups during the school holidays. More than 20,000 students have participated in a programme that has reached all the schools on the island.

The environmental education programme was designed with the contribution of teachers through several workshops that led to the definition of an education strategy. It includes a set of activities to be developed in the schools, ranging from lectures and practical classroom activities to more recreational activities and educational games. It also comprises some school visits to the Priolo’s Interpretation Centre, the Nurseries of Azorean Plants and the protected area.

Teaching tools and child-friendly materials were prepared for the programme and for teachers’ independent use. A certified teacher education program has been developed with 150 teachers trained so far.

Classifications

Category
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

  • European Commission funding through LIFE Programme;
  • Interest from schools in participating in the programme;
  • Restored areas available for visits by school children;
  • The existence of a visitor's centre was useful although it was not essential.

Lessons learned

  • After 10 years of implementing this environmental educational programme, we could verify the importance of this type of approach not only for the children and teachers involved but also as a dissemination tool for the community.
  • Providing an opportunity for outdoor educational activities and providing activities that contributed to teaching curriculum subjects was a good way of improving adherence of teachers to the programme.
  • Teachers’ training and teacher’s involvement in preparing the school programme was also useful to increase school adherence to the programme.
  • Including more educational and more leisure activities is a good way to ensure the adherence of different types of education groups.
  • In order to increase participation of teacher and students and promote multidiciplinarity of environmental issues it was important to propose activities for subjects like Portuguese, English, Social Sciences, etc. But, of course, science and citizenship were the subjects in which most of the activities were conducted.