The OTTER Hub held its final event online (31 January 2024)

More than 50 education professionals and enthusiasts joined the discussions on improving the uptake of Education Outside the Classroom methodologies in Europe, exploring the opportunities, obstacles, and most efficient strategies to promote these innovative methods and foster younger generations' interest in STEAM

What are the opportunities provided by Education Outside the Classroom methodologies? What about the barriers to their uptake? How did OTTER translate this methodology into practice through its OTTER Labs in four countries in Europe? How does Education Outside the Classroom improve awareness of environmental issues and foster students' interest in sustainability? And which strategies would be most effective to reach out to policymakers? 

These questions and more were covered during the final event of the OTTER Hub, which took place on 31 January 2024, an online event facilitated by our partner, TBVT. For the past two years, the OTTER Hub has worked as a knowledge exchange platform, where education experts, practitioners and enthusiasts could share their experiences and learn from one another. It was only fitting that the Hub's final event would take on the same approach, aiming to start a conversation around the practical use of Education Outside the Classroom methodologies, opportunities for collaboration at EU level, and popularising this approach among European educators. 

We were humbled to welcome four amazing speakers who brought in their expertise and invaluable insights:

  • Stella Hadjiachilleos (Ph.D.), educator and consultant at the Unit for Education for the Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) at the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, who explained the policies regarding outdoor education in Cyprus and introduced the audience to the National Network of Environmental Education Centres, consisting of 7 (very popular) centres in different areas of Cyprus (from coastal areas to mountains, near forests, etc.) 
  • Ivelina Ivanova, project manager in the Science Education Department of the European Schoolnet, who presented her organisation and the role of Scientix in bringing together European projects related to education (to ensure their sustainability beyond the projects' lifetime), pointing out to the role and value of creating as many synergies as possible 
  • Ray D'Arcy and Ciara Breen, principal and 6th grade teacher, respectively, at Scoil ├Źde in Limerick, Ireland, who took part in our OTTER Labs in Ireland, and shared their opinions on how these activities went, from the impact they had on students' attitudes, motivations, and enjoyment, to the role they played in opening students' eyes to new potential careers in STEM and to helping them boost skills like empathy, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging to the community

We would like to thank all participants for their active involvement in the discussions - the conclusions will feed into a Policy Brief that will soon be published on our website as well. Feel free to explore our website for resources on Education Outside the Classroom, especially our newly-launched Learning Platform, and write to us if you have any questions or curiosities!

The OTTER Hub held its final event online (31 January 2024)