What are Nature and Environment Schools?
The Finnish Association of Nature and Environment Schools organizes and develops LYKE-network. The network offers environmental education services for schools and kindergartens on local level. It also promotes nature and environmental education in Finland. LYKE-network consists of centers governed by municipalities, governmental organizations, enterprises, and associations.
Our aims and means:
- We are developing and expanding the LYKE-network, which enables different groups of children and youth to participate in high-quality nature and environmental school activities with their teachers and instructors.
- We maintain the MAPPA.fi service so that more and more educators can find materials and services to support their environmental education work.
- We provide training for educators so that more and more of them are prepared to carry out environmental education. The largest of the training events is a major Out-Ut-Out event developed in collaboration with six other partners of cooperation.
- We give support to the members of LYKE-network, deliver good practices from professional to professional and help in co-operation with municipalities and schools.
There have been Nature Schools in Finland for over 30 years. Today there are 57 centers in the network. The resources for building the network has come from the Ministry of Environment and
the Ministry of Education and Culture.
What does LYKE-network do?
The centers in LYKE-network work mainly with schools and kindergartens. The customers get help from the experts of LYKE-network for their daily job with pupils in the field of environmental education.
- The day programs and trainings are based on the national core curriculum of compulsory education.
- Learning is experimental, experience-based, hands-on learning in authentic learning environments.
- The final goal is that every kindergarten and school in Finland have a possibility to get professional help with their environmental education from LYKE-network.
There is active quality work for constantly improving service that LYKE-centers provide. Each branch of the network develops their quality locally. The Finnish Association of Nature organizes the development work of collective quality criteria with the centers. The aim of the criteria is to maintain and improve the quality of the environmental education services. It also gives a certificate to the centers, which help centers to communicate about their quality work to the customers. There are two levels of certificate in the LYKE-network. LYKE Activity Center is the basic level, whereas LYKE Development Center is the highest level of certification.
The application process starts with self-auditing of the center. The Board of The Finnish Association of Nature and Environment Schools accepts the new members to LYKE-network. System of peer-auditing frequently verifies the meeting of the criteria. During peer-auditing, staff members from a certified LYKE-center visit a predetermined peer center, where they go through the auditing procedure, which enables reciprocal development, learning from each other and sharing good practice.
Learning outdoors in Finland
The sustainable way of living and learning environments outside the classroom are emphasized in Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education, National Core Curriculum for Pre-primary Education and National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care. Curricula are national regulations issued by the Finnish National Agency for Education. They are used as the basis for preparing local curricula.
You can buy the curricula in digital form from Ellibs.com
MAPPA.fi – Outdoor learning materials for the educators
MAPPA.fi is the central Material Bank and search service for environmental and sustainability education and outdoor learning in Finland. It is specifically designed to support teaching, educational and youth work. The service is developed in co-operation with other environmental education actors and service users and in response to their needs. The service expanded to Swedish in 2020 and will continue to expand in 2021 to cover not only materials but also services and events. The service has more than a thousand materials from more than 200 material producers and the number of users is constantly growing: by calculation, half of the potential users of the service have already used it at least once, and about a fifth use it regularly. The service is used by up to 10,000 different users per month. Check out: MAPPA.fi!
LYKE-network is working together with other NGOs in Finland promoting learning outdoors.
Come and Join!
Some years ago, there was a big international outdoor learning conference, “Ulos-Ut-Out!” in Finland.
We are already planning our next conference – follow the website www.ulos2021.fi!
Welcome to Finland in Summer 2021!