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Karen Wistoft

Passionate Teaching and Desire to Learn in Outdoor Health Education

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‘Gardens for Bellies’ [Haver til Maver] are organic school gardens in an outdoor education programme sited at a 170 acres farm in Denmark, which provides school students with first-hand experiences in a natural, healthy environment. The general intention of the project is to expand the participating student’s competences and their knowledge of nature, gardening and cooking in an outdoor setting. This paper draws on a new evaluation of the ‘Gardens for Bellies’ education programme based on qualitative as well as quantitative studies carried out by health education researchers (Wistoft et al., 2012). The evaluation shows very positive learning benefits linked to action, experience and enjoyment. The outdoor learning programme and the environment represent a unique addition to the national curriculum of health education at the Danish Public School, providing the possibility of interdisciplinary and enjoyment-based learning. One of the main conclusions is that the students develop their desire to learn. A number of the competencies they develop as the site relate directly to the subject of health, life science, quality food and their origins as well as other health related subjects. Parents confirm the learning benefits and view ‘Gardens for Bellies’ as a unique supplement to regular school teaching. The experience dimension and a certain communication of love (Luhmann, 1986) together with the teachers’ passion to show their passion for teaching provide one possible explanation as to why the desire to learn is stimulated among the pupils. With this interpretation our the conclusion is that it is not enough only to be a skilled or an authentic teacher, you have to be passionate or dedicated, if you want to ensure the student’s desire to learn.

School Gardens; Health Education; Outdoor Teaching, Love as Passion, Desire to Learn.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year1 Mar 2013
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventIUHPE World Conference - Pattaya, Pattaya, Thailand
Duration: 25 Aug 201329 Aug 2013
Conference number: 21


ConferenceIUHPE World Conference

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