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Karen Wistoft

'Haver til Maver': Evaluation of Nordic Outdoor education

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Background: ‘Haver til Maver’ (in English ‘Gardens to Guts’) is an organic centre for nature experiences situated at Krogerup farm in Northern Sealand, Denmark; a non-profit organisation. The educational intention is to expand children’s competences and their knowledge of nature, farming, and cooking as well as healthy eating habits. The children attend, together with their teachers, 8-10 times during the season from April – October. The present evaluation is an example of empirical educational research in the school gardens’ pedagogical effects and outcomes. It is an important contribution to the development of the existing knowledge and evidence of Nordic outdoor education.
Objectives: The purpose is to evaluate the concept and outcome of ‘Haver til Maver’, to optimising and further developing the programme to implementing the concept at other farm. The research objective is to describe: the pedagogical effects of ‘Haver til Maver’; review the history and knowledge about school gardens; and improvement potential. The evaluation began in September 2010, with qualitative as well as quantitative studies based on: field observations; individual and focus group interviews with pupils, teachers and parents; literary reviews; a questionnaire of parents; and workshops with the project developers.
Results: ‘Haver til Maver’ is an all-round educational option which appeals to pupils across gender, age group, social background, skill and physical capability. The learn to grow vegetables in their own school gardens using specially designed outdoor kitchens where they prepare the vegetables together with a cook, and accompanied by a ranger, they explore the woods and surrounding fields. The observed positive health promoting outcomes can be categorised as: a) outdoor life b) farming and cooking c) development of social competences d) experience and enjoyment.
Conclusion: ‘Haver til Maver’ has a positive impact on school children cognitive, social and mental health. The programme is a unique addition to the ordinary education in schools, providing the possibility of interdisciplinary and authentic links. Two main factors for improving the concept is: I) preparation and integration in the primary school curriculum; and II) relate the results to subject and general didactics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2011
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventNERA, the Nordic Educational Research Association, and the Department of Education (DPU) at Aarhus University. The Annual Nordic Conference on Educational Research, March 8-10, 2012, in Copenhagen. - , Denmark
Duration: 8 Mar 2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceNERA, the Nordic Educational Research Association, and the Department of Education (DPU) at Aarhus University. The Annual Nordic Conference on Educational Research, March 8-10, 2012, in Copenhagen.
CountryDenmark
Period08/03/2012 → …

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