Among the challenges that we should consider to achieve a high quality Education in Chile, outdoor education and education in the nature has to be present. There, in nature, we get the ideal scenery to develop abilities to work collaboratively and create community; to develop an Earth based leadership and a systemic and critical thinking; and to improve the respect and value for diversity in all aspects. Are in nature, moreover, where current relationships and interconnections between natural and social systems can be better understood, and where the role of sociocultural factors in the origin of environmental problems can also be seen clearly.
That is why, in fact, the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) –promoted by United Nation and assumed as a commitment by Chilean Government in year 2004- includes among its principles the importance of outdoor learning. It’s not a coincidence, neither, that the tendency in many schools of developed countries is to spend more and more hours outside, in nature, playing and observing its details and process deeply to learn math, literacy, sciences, art, etc.; identifying and reflecting about the ecological path that our development model has leave there, and improving values and behavior to reverse it.
Children from today will be adults tomorrow, in a world absolutely different as the one we know, with challenges that will require skills and behavior deferent as those we have today. For it, educational system has to promote children and youth outdoor experiences, nature experiences; has to promote the cognitive and affective connection with the nature, so they can be able to look, fell and understand it integrally.
To contribute to this main goal, a group formed by 4 Foundations of third sector – Fundación Ilumina, Fundación Cosmos, Fundación Ibáñez Atkinson Fundación Caserta– are promoted the outdoor learning or outdoor education where nature is a key platform to the integral development of children, so they can consolidate as agents for change for a sustainable world. Our first step is the carry out of the Seminar Nature; Platform for Education, which aims to expose the benefits of use the nature as an education platform, sharing experiences and related researches; and know current outdoor learning situation in Chilean educational system, its barriers and challenges.