Forest Schools | An educational project that promotes environmental awareness in children

Corporate social responsibility
WRITTEN BY Lídia Dalmases i Junyent
12 Apr, 2022 — 4 min
Forest Schools | An educational project that promotes environmental awareness in children

In outdoor classes, without traditional classrooms or books, children work on basic teaching competencies, but from the observation of life processes, absorbing real experiences, foregoing toys and prefabricated teaching materials, and enhancing creativity.

In recent years, various scientific studies have confirmed the importance of outdoor play. According to these studies, children who are in contact with nature develop motor skills of coordination, balance, and agility more, have greater attention capacity, reasoning and observation, experience less stress, are more capable of withstanding adverse situations, or fall ill less frequently.

Without entering into judgments about this educational project, which is obviously a decision for each family, it is important to consider another factor that weighs considerably in its popularization: the increase in awareness for more sustainable education, which incorporates the educational community as an active agent in the fight against the climate crisis.

The environment is everything that we are and that surrounds us. And learning to live respecting the nature of which we are a part and all its processes is one of our greatest challenges. It is easy to fall into the complexity that characterizes all environmental conflicts, to think that no matter what we do, we will not change the world, but nothing we do is in vain. And it is necessary, above all, to understand the globality of the problems and to relocalize them, to detect how they affect our immediate surroundings, in order to carry out tangible work and actions at the local level.

Environmental education encompasses everything that relates us to our environment. From knowing the nature that surrounds us and to which we belong, to knowing where everything we have comes from and where it goes after we use it, or recognizing and understanding the conflicts and problems associated with each consumption action or acts that constitute our day to day. In this context, the promotion of education for sustainability is crucial, because educational spaces, be they classrooms or forests, can be a decisive tool to promote environmental awareness in children and their future involvement in caring for the environment.

Forest schools are a clear example of this awareness, a committed approach to the relationship of children with nature increasingly present in our territory, which does not have, however, a completely clear legal framework that facilitates their constitution without difficulties.

While there are no doubts about the legal form to be established, usually the Association, from a fiscal point of view, there are more questions than answers. Examples of this are the dilemma of whether or not the fees charged are subject to VAT, the consideration of whether it is regulated teaching or not, or the activity heading for which they must be registered, which implies that some town councils may pose problems when granting activity licenses. It is necessary to assess and consider these issues and the possible fiscal risks they may represent.

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