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30. 06. 2022.

Green Istria and partners published a compilation of eihght non-formal learning tools in their new handbook for teachers and youth workers entitled “Tools for learning – tools for sustainable environment”

Three environmental groups, Croatian Green Istria, Italian Legambiente Lombardia and Slovenian Institute for Spatial Policies – IPoP published in June 2022 their first joint handbook entitled “Tools for Learning – Tools for Sustainable Development”.

“Tools for Learning – Tools for Sustainable Development” is a handbook for teachers' modern, competence-based teaching on sustainable development. The handbook is also intended for youth workers from civil society organizations who already are or will, inspired by the handbook, become engaged in education of youth about sustainable development topics.

The handbook includes a detailed description of eight innovative tools, i.e. methods for non-formal learning that have been used successfully by three civil society organizations in their youth work for many years.

The tools are focused on three thematic areas - spatial planning, waste reduction and climate change. Therefore, the handbook presents all details of the organization and realization of a swap party, a simulation of the UN Climate Change Conference or an urban walk, just to mention some of the tools.

The handbook suggests how to involve young people, provides instructions for step-by-step implementation of methods, presents learning outcomes as well as methods for assessing students’ attainment of learning outcomes. It is available in printed and digital format in Croatian, Italian, Slovenian and English.

The handbook was printed in 250 copies in each of the project team national languages – Croatian, Slovenian and Italian, as well as in English, while each of the language versions can be downloaded in digital format from the project and partners’ websites.

IPoP, Legambiente Lombardia and Green Istria have developed the “Tools for Learning - Tools for Sustainable Development” handbook as part of the namesake project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and the Croatian Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

The project, primarily aimed at empowering these partner organizations and their staff for innovative work with young people on topics related to sustainable development, environmental protection and climate change, started on 1 November 2020 and will last until 30 June 2022. The empowerment was achieved through the exchange of good practices, green skills and non-formal learning tools among the three organizations during three “training for the trainers”. Trainings enabled each organization to innovate its existing “green expertise” by acquiring its partners’ methods, i.e. by creating innovative programs for better, modern and attractive work with young people in accordance with youth expectations.

Nine youth workers in the project team have thus become “catalysts” for a positive change on the level of the other two project target groups - young people and teachers.

During three workshops involving 30 young volunteers, the partners tested innovative informal learning tools in their own local communities. In doing so, they also prepared and empowered young people to act as agents of change for sustainable development, raised their awareness of environmental and climate challenges and improved, above all, their citizenship competence and green skills. Young people became more aware of how their behavior affected the environment, but also how their new skills enabled them to volunteer and work in the green sectors. This has facilitated positive changes in youth behavior, their personal preferences, consumer habits and lifestyles.

In order to strengthen cross-sectoral cooperation and contribute to school education system, the handbook, which is one of key results of the “Tools for Learning - Tools for Sustainable Development” project, will be sent to all schools in Croatia, Slovenia and Lombardy as well as to institutions relevant to school education. The partners also organized the handbook presentation for teachers in Pula, Ljubljana and Milan.

The project “Tools for Learning - Tools for Sustainable Development”seeks to support a never-ending quest of youth workers and teachers for innovation in order to provide better quality work and inspire the change towards sustainable development within their young learners.

This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Project is co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs. The views expressed in this communication are the sole responsibility of Green Istria and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

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