M eeting colleagues online was considered up-to-date some time ago but nowadays we are happy if we can meet in person. After the gap of two years during which the regular workshops for forest pedagogues had to be moved into the online environment, we finally could organize a full-time seminar from 10 – 12 November 2021, which was attended by 57 forest pedagogues, i.e. foresters who had already completed the basic course in forest pedagogics. In nearly 20 years of being held in the Czech Republic, the course was completed by more than a thousand of foresters (1 227). More information about the system of educating forest pedagogues in the Czech Republic: System of education of forest pedagogues in the Czech Republic – Forestpedagogics
Since 2008, forest pedagogues have had a possibility to extend their knowledge and to share their experience at seminars that are usually held twice a year, in spring and autumn. The seminars for forest pedagogues are provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and its working group dealing with forest pedagogics in the Czech Republic, in which forest organizations in the Czech Republic are represented.
As forest pedagogues logically appreciate most the practical training, the largest part of the seminar included workshops focused on practical activities that can be used in their work. The first workshop was devoted to wood and practical suggestions how to remind its irreplaceability and include it into common life as much as possible. Attendants to the workshop were invited to a workroom in which they could work with wood and make practical articles (candlestick, coaster, crate, soap dish etc.).
The second workshop was called “Forest as a Pharmacy”. Forests offer a lot of natural products which support immunity and heal various ailments. Lecturers brought a range of specimens to demonstrate how woody plants, their parts and herbs can be processed into tinctures, ointments or teas. Attendants to the workshop made tea mixtures according to enclosed recipes and an ointment from resin that helps to calm skin burns and cracks.
The third workshop took place outdoors. Although the weather was typical November and somewhat intrusive, icebreakers presented by the lecturer did not allow anybody to freeze through. He handed out ideas about physical activities that can be used for example at introducing a new team or waiting for delayed bus. Attendants to the workshop practised nearly all of them.
At the fourth workshop, a lady lector introduced an interesting form of teaching which makes it possible to involve all school teams into the research method of teaching (research in nature and about nature). She demonstrated the types of activities which the children enjoy and can also learn critical thinking therefrom.
The last workshop was devoted to fungi and was preceded by a lecture called “About mushrooms in the service of man” that was packed with interesting information. The lecturer shared with participants a lot of experience with his own testing of mushrooms and the participants tried several activities focused on fungi that may enrich their future programmes.
Forest pedagogues were excited about the seminar and left full of enthusiasm and new ideas for their work, hoping another full-time seminar will be held next spring.