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Basalt School

place Hungary

The 21st century method of outdoor learning

Nature is the rediscovered tool for education in the 21st century. Basalt School introduces outdoor learning into the existing educational system with its three layers: the design and building of outdoor classrooms for schools, the development of outdoor curricula of natural and built environmental education, all this through participatory design involving children, teachers and local communities.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
Students basic
November 2023
The goal of the new outdoor learning spaces and methods of Basalt School is to have participants of our beautiful natural environment feel as active, creative agents, to have them discover their potential and, in extension, their responsibility towards nature. To be more healthy and to learn easier outside - not just in alternative institutions, but all around Hungary and worldwide.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Based on our research of learning spaces and processes and our practice in school design, outdoor learning seams to be the missing link for the renewal of education. The unwritten rule for decades, that only the classroom is for learning is over, since in many cases the natural environment would serve as a more suitable and more sustainable setting for education.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

The experience of outside classes helps us more easily retain what we have learned there, all the while providing an excellent environment for tackling learning difficulties. Our aim is the integration of conscious utilization of natural environments into public education. One layer of this is learning space creation through (landscape-)architecture, the construction of outdoor classrooms (Basalt Classrooms). During their participatory design process we organize workshops to develop a common language with users, both students and teachers. In parallel to the learning spaces we develop the joining curricula (Basalt Book of Outdoor Learning) to propose outdoor learning possibilities in all subjects and to enhance the conscious perception of the natural environment as an increasingly intense demand in pedagogy. Based on the outdoor classroom and curricula the schools are enabled to integrate outdoor learning into their everyday formal, informal and non-formal learning and social life too.

How has it been spreading?

We have worked with 3 schools in 2022, 20 schools in 2023, having designed both their outdoor classrooms and the matching pedagogical methods, involving communities of students and teachers. 18 Outdoor Classrooms have already been built around North-Western Hungary.
Basalt School was amongst the first awardees of the OTP Fáy Foundation Pedagogic Innovation Award in 2023, that provides us to integrate into a wide network of various educators.
At the moment we are starting a 100-school project that introduces outdoor learning in all counties. Schools from all around Hungary and now even abroad are applying to the program, so we're hoping to expand the Basalt School system significantly. Our ultimate goal is to provide all elementary schools in Hungary with their outdoor classroom by 2050.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Feel free to contact us at CAN Architects / Basalt School, so we can get to know each other and schedule developing your own Basalt Classroom and Curricula.

Implementation steps

Contact us at CAN Architects / Basalt School with the details of your institution: name, location, school type, number of students, number of teachers, special needs and pedagogical methods. Let us also know the available budget you have for the project and together we'll figure out how to fund the participatory design and build process.
We plan a personalized schedule for a (usually) 2-semester participatory design and build program.
Participatory Design
We are coming to your school to get to know each outher, to learn about your community, your pedagogical methods, your needs and possibilities, to create a common language for the creative process and to design and build your outdoor learning space with the whole school. In the meanwhile together we work on the adaptation of our outdoor learning methods to your school.
Go outside to learn
You have all the means to spend precious learning time outdoors now.

Spread of the innovation

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