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.:wochenklausur - Outdoor School Classes:.
Puebla de Sanabria (ES) * 2012 * Campo Adentro * 3 weeks

In Puebla de Sanabria, Spain, invited by the Association Inland – Campo Adentro, WochenKlausur arranged the integration of outdoor school classes to the local primary school with the aim to create awareness for the reasons and consequences of wood fire.

Due to the state´s financial difficulties Spain´s most important program for fire prevention in rural areas - Plan 42 - was cut off. Many experts fear that in the near future no other structure will continue with the work Plan 42 has started and wood fires will continue to be a regular threat to the local environment. As most of the fires are man-made and therefore avoidable it is important to create a better understanding of the importance of woods and its dependences to human and nature life. To address this problem WochenKlausur decided to focus on education and change of behaviour by addressing the young generation of Sanabria.

The idea to add a specific outdoor education programme to the local primary school´s academic calendar was presented to politicians, citizens, teachers and the principal. The suggested classes should take place at least once per year for one to three days, outside the main school building within natural surroundings. To convince the school teachers of the necessity of outside classes was not easy. Several meetings and negotiations were needed but during a public meeting it was possible to create a positive atmosphere for the pedagogical concept of environment-related learning. The related agencies agreed to the concept and understood that it is not the same to study nature through images and texts as through direct contact with the forest and all its resources.

WochenKlausur also proposed that first of all locals such as forest guards, beekeepers, biologists, farmers, etc. who have a special relation and specific knowledge of their environment should be the lecturers.

In the remaining time on-site and together with the requested teachers WochenKlausur developed a realizable program for several one to three-day long outdoor class. Parallel to that WochenKlausur had discussions with the city’s environmental department to find the an permanent space, a point of access where each outdoor class can start and end. Optional spaces were examined. A spot close to the school revealed to be most adequate as easy to access and situated on a river bank which enriches the range of biodiversity. During one of the classes the kids will have the possibility to design and build their own infrastructure led by a resident architect and a local artist.

The first classes took place in spring 2013. The school agreed to repeat the classes for a minimum period of 5 years.

José Manuel Cifuentes, Max Fernandes, José Pereira, Maria Turiño