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.
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.
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.
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.