Pedagogical approach

OTTER Lab is best described as student-centered, hands-on activity aiming to promote Sustainable Development(SD) through Education Outside the Classroom (EOC). OTTER Lab’s pedagogical approach consists of five steps:

  1. Prepare
  2. Orientate
  3. Discover
  4. Make
    an impact
  5. Reflect

Peer collaboration, and student-centered approaches are core elements characterising all five steps. 


Pedagogical approach of the OTTER Lab 

Modern educational research has revealed many factors that promote learning: learner’s own activity, motivation, participation, collaborative learning (learning with and from each other), reflection, connections to prior knowledge, physical activity, and using versatile teaching and learning methods. This contemporary learning theory is called the socio-constructivist approach. (Lonka 2018, 28–48.) OTTER Lab’s approach is based on the socio-constructivist view on learning.

The socio-constructivist view of learning rests on the following principles:

  • Learning is perceived as an active, not passive, process through which knowledge is 
constructed by the learner. 
  • Knowledge is mutually built and constructed in the social contexts of learning. 
  • Prior knowledge, understanding and experiences are relevant to learning new things.
  • The teacher’s role is to support and nurture the learning process: 

    teachers are facilitators who enable students’ development and learning. (Lonka 2018, 28.)