Formal environmental education
"Classroom in the Forest"is the only formal Environmental Education program currently in the country, since only our program considers the activities carried out in the field as part of the students' curriculum. Although there are other educational-environmental initiatives in the country, the difference is that what they do is to support externally the lessons developed in the classroom; This offer has pre-established characteristics and it is usually not possible to adapt the activities to the objectives and particularities of each group of students.
The participation of our students has the approval and support of the schools' principals and each session of field work is a regular and mandatory day of classes. Although it has an implicit recreational component, the visit to the reserve is not considered a stroll by any of the parties involved.
To cover the entire theme of Science “Human beings are part of nature" with this methodology, it is necessary to change the order in which the different science topics are studied during the year.
The process begins by dividing the objectives of the theme at issue in three, so that each third is developed in a different quarter. The objectives are grouped according to the similarity they have. In some quarters the class covers only one objective, in others the number may increase up to five
A visitation schedule is then defined, allowing each group to work in the reserve once a quarter and the lessons are planned with the teachers, according to the MEP study programs and meeting the requirements of "Learning science doing science“.
Together, environmental educators and teachers define specific objectives for each visit and plan activities and assessments for both field work and classroom work. This teamwork allows each activity to meet the scientific and pedagogical parameters that make it appropriate to achieve both the curricular objectives and the environmental objectives of each level.
Each quarter, the development of the contents follows the same order. Students begin to study the topics with their teacher at school one or two weeks before the fieldwork. Then they visit the reserve, where they make all kinds of activities and end the process back in the classroom. The entire process may take 3-5 weeks depending on the number of objectives to study.