Environmental Education in Finland

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Environmental Education in Finland: the Experiential Way

One of the key features of environmental education in Finland is the focus on experiential learning. This means that students are encouraged to learn about the environment through hands-on experiences, such as field trips, outdoor activities, and practical projects. Teachers are trained to use these methods effectively and to integrate them into their teaching.

One of the ways that experiential learning is implemented in Finland is through field trips and outdoor activities. Students are often taken on trips to natural areas, such as forests, lakes, and national parks, where they can learn about the environment and engage in practical activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife observation. These experiences help students develop a sense of connection to nature and an appreciation for the natural world.

In addition to field trips, experiential learning is also incorporated into the classroom through practical projects and hands-on learning activities. For example, students may be asked to design and build a model of a sustainable home, or to conduct experiments to investigate environmental issues such as water pollution or climate change.

Teachers in Finland are trained to use experiential learning techniques effectively and to integrate them into their teaching across all subjects. The emphasis on experiential learning is part of a broader approach to education in Finland that prioritizes active learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Overall, experiential learning is an important part of the education system in Finland, helping to provide students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in their future careers and in life. By emphasizing practical experiences and hands-on learning, Finland is helping to create a generation of environmentally aware and engaged citizens who are equipped to tackle the complex environmental challenges of the future.

The Finnish Forest Schools

The Finnish forest school, also known as "metsäkoulu" in Finnish, is a type of educational program that emphasizes outdoor learning and nature-based experiences. The forest school is typically held in natural settings such as forests, parks, and other outdoor areas.

In the forest school, students are encouraged to explore and learn about the natural environment through hands-on activities and experiences. For example, students may engage in nature hikes, wildlife observation, and plant identification. They may also participate in practical projects such as building birdhouses or planting trees.

The forest school approach to education is based on the idea that children learn best through active exploration and experiential learning. By spending time in nature, students are able to develop a sense of connection to the natural world, as well as important skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking.

The Finnish forest school is a popular form of education in Finland, where the country's natural environment is considered a valuable resource. Many Finnish schools have adopted forest school principles and incorporate outdoor learning into their curriculum. The forest school approach is also gaining popularity in other parts of the world as a way to promote environmental education and engage students in meaningful learning experiences.

The Finnish National Curriculum

In Finland, environmental education is included in the national core curriculum for basic education, which is mandatory for all schools. The core curriculum emphasizes the importance of sustainable development and environmental education, and requires that all schools provide education on these topics. In addition to the core curriculum, there are also a number of environmental education initiatives and organizations in Finland. 

Overall, environmental education in Finland is thriving, reflecting the country's strong commitment to sustainability and the environment. By providing students with the knowledge and skills to understand and protect the natural world, Finland is helping to build a more sustainable future.

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Finnish Association for Nature Conservation

The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) is a non-governmental organization that works to protect and conserve Finland's natural environment. It also provides resources and training for teachers, and organises environmental education programs for students. Founded in 1948, the organization has over 160,000 members and is one of the largest environmental organizations in Finland.

FANC works on a range of environmental issues, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, sustainable use of natural resources, and environmental education. The organization conducts research, engages in advocacy and lobbying, and organizes campaigns and events to raise awareness and promote environmental protection.

One of FANC's key activities is providing resources and training for teachers to help them integrate environmental education into their teaching. The organization also organizes environmental education programs for students, including field trips and hands-on learning activities.

FANC is also involved in monitoring and protecting Finland's natural areas and wildlife. The organization manages a number of nature reserves and provides guidance and support to local conservation groups.

Overall, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation plays an important role in promoting environmental protection and sustainability in Finland. Its work helps to raise awareness about environmental issues and provides practical solutions for protecting Finland's natural environment.

The Finnish Nature League is FANC's youth organisation and is a nation-wide non-governmental nature and environmental protection organization for children and the youth. It carries out activities such as campaigns, courses, outdoor activities, family events, hikes, nature camps.

Finnish history of protecting the environment

Finland has a long history of valuing and protecting its natural environment, dating back to the 19th century when the country was still under Russian rule. One of the earliest environmental laws in Finland was the Forest Act of 1886, which aimed to regulate forestry practices and prevent overexploitation of forests.

In the 20th century, Finland continued to prioritize environmental protection, with the establishment of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation in 1948, and the enactment of several key environmental laws in the 1970s and 1980s. These included the Environmental Protection Act of 1970, which established a legal framework for environmental protection in Finland, and the Nature Conservation Act of 1982, which provided for the protection of Finland's biodiversity and natural areas.

Finland has also been a leader in international efforts to protect the environment. The country was a signatory to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001, and has taken a strong stance on issues such as climate change and marine conservation.

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Finland' s current situation regarding protecting the environment

Today, Finland is recognized as one of the world's most environmentally friendly countries. The country has set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and has made significant investments in renewable energy and sustainable transportation. Finland's forests and lakes are also among the cleanest and most pristine in the world, thanks to the country's commitment to responsible forestry and environmental protection. Environmental Education in Finland reflects the achievements of the country both in the past and in the present.