Art Based Environmental Education

This course, which is run by Gaye Amus and Jan van Boeckel, aims at people working in education and who want to learn about possibilities to connect to nature in refreshing new ways. Based on their experience in environmental and art education, and working with several different age groups, they offer a program that provides both an in-depth introduction to the pedagogical dimensions of this approach, as well as a series of hands-on direct experiences of working artfully in groups, using the natural environment as our "third teacher".  Emphasis is put on seeing "with fresh eyes". 

About Jan van Boeckel

Jan van Boeckel is an artist-educator, researcher and film-maker. Currently, he is professor in art pedagogy at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. Previously, Jan was program director in design theory at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik. Together with others, Jan established the international research group on arts-based environmental education at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki.

 In 2013, he presented his doctoral thesis: At the Heart of Art and Earth. Through his own engagement with art and art teaching, and the experience of living very near wilderness in Sweden, Jan’s interest has crystallized into developing artistic approaches to connect with “the more-than-human-world.”  He initiates activities that facilitate participants to connect and learn with nature through open-ended artistic process, often using paint and clay as materials. One of his research interests is the tension between trying to open the senses whilst coping with the enormity of the current ecological crisis – an issue all the more pressing when engaging in arts-based environmental education activities with children. Jan van Boeckel works with organizations such as the Foundation for Deep Ecology, the International Forum on Globalization and the Eco-Art Network. He has taught at Schumacher College in the UK and at Spring College in the Netherlands.  

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