For the first time BirdLife Malta is collaborating with the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) as part of the Lifelong Learning through Nature (LLN) project which provides students with opportunities to get outdoors and to learn about the world around them.
This project was designed to develop resources for environmental and sustainable development education. It has worked with age groups from early years to post-secondary to engage them through formal and non-formal education outlining the importance of outdoor learning away from the classroom.
Thanks to this new partnership between BirdLife Malta and MCAST, two new environmental Learning Outcomes related to environmental sustainability have been developed specifically for MCAST (one with Level 2 and one with Level 3 within Key Skills Science and Technology) which will include an element of outdoor education through a field trip. This will give students the opportunity to undertake investigations during a guided field visit to a natural area.
Apart from connecting with nature and the positive effects of spending time outdoors for mental and physical wellbeing, through being outside in the natural environment students will understand the part they play as individuals in the wider ecosystem. Thus, through first-hand experience MCAST students will realise the effects which humans are having on the natural environment and how we all need to make choices that will be conducive to sustainable development.
During the past two days BirdLife Malta ran introductory sessions for the lecturers to brief them on the resources provided and to build their knowledge and confidence in delivering these field trips with students which will be a new experience for the lecturers.
These introductory training sessions took place at Wied tal-Isperanza in Mosta and at Wied Blandun in Paola. In total 13 MCAST lecturers are involved in this new initiative and it is estimated that over 1,500 students will be engaged.
More about BirdLife Malta’s Lifelong Learning through Nature project
Lifelong Learning through Nature (LLN) is a three-year collaborative partnership project (2014-2017) in which BirdLife Malta is the lead partner. The Erasmus+ funded project is run in collaboration with Malta’s Ministry for Education and Employment together with three international partners who are also bird conservation charities: the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB-UK), BirdWatch Ireland, and the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP). A growing number of research studies (including a recent one conducted by BirdLife Malta in collaboration with the University of Malta) provide documented evidence to show how vital connection with nature and outdoor learning are for health, wellbeing and education. This knowledge and expertise is now being shared by the three international project partners to support implementation in their own and other European countries.
Read the Maltese version of the press release here.