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Forest classroom
How can we use nature to teach?
Published on July 4, 2021
In a public school in Berlin, Germany, a ‘forest class’ attracts all kinds of personalities, including both gifted and struggling students. Being outside, in any case, clearly allows everyone to avoid the boredom of being at a desk all day. Watch and listen to these developing minds learn and bloom in a dynamic setting.

Conrad Schüle

Forest classroom start : 2016

Location: Berlin, Germany

Number of Students in the class: 50 

Status : Public

Link: https://www.conrad-schule.org/


Imagine the door to your classroom leads straight back outside – into a primeval forest.

Five years ago, in the Conrad School in Berlin, Germany, public sector educators launched two classes for children aged six to nine, offering them the chance to spend 70% of class time in the woods.

School headmaster Hans Gerritt Plessen explains the concept of this forest lesson, where free play is the rule: “Children learn by discovery and personal motivation. Some play with logs, others build cabins or dig in the ground. Each style of play corresponds to the dynamic of the child’s development at that moment.”

Children at the Conrad Outdoor School have the chance to learn at their own pace – and in three languages, French, Dutch and English. In this way, they learn autonomy and responsibility, becoming accustomed to a multilingual, multicultural life in which issues around biodiversity are an important part of the conversation.

Living and learning within nature teaches them to be attentive to the needs of the animals and the people around them – and to be comfortable asking questions about their interconnectedness.

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Do we need to mix levels more?
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no
Would you have liked to go to a school in nature?
Yes
no
Any teachers can initiate a forest classroom.
Yes
no
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