Children: Constructors of Sustainable Education

What does a kindergarten have to do with the financial crisis or climate change? Or to rephrase it: What can a kindergarten do against global crises in environmental issues, economy, and finance? Nothing, you might think? UNESCO thinks differently! This year, a Bavarian forest kindergarten was awarded for its achievements in the field of “Education for Sustainable Development” at the “didacta” education fair in Cologne.

The jury chose the “Waldkinder-Regensburg” for its ecological, economic, and social aspects. The fact that a forest kindergarten enables children to have a special connection to nature is evident. But what else makes this forest kindergarten so outstanding and forward-thinking? Sensible management of all resources – this principle of the Regensburg forest kindergarten includes not only natural elements but also finances.

Ecology, economy, and social thinking in kindergarten

Particular emphasis was placed on the kindergarten’s daily efforts to promote the children’s social skills. The success of the Regensburg forest children in this aspect is already evident in another award they received:

Being the only forest kindergarten among 25 house kindergartens, this “forest experience space for children” has been appointed as a consultation facility in the state of Bavaria. This designation means that the forest kindergarten excels in implementing the goals of the education and upbringing plan and is considered an exemplary institution.

In practice, this exemplary pedagogical work looks like this: in the morning, all forest children gather in a circle after walking from the meeting point to the designated forest area. There, they discuss the children’s wishes for the day’s activities. The democratic instrument of participation is taken very seriously at the Regensburg forest kindergarten. This can sometimes lead to unusual outcomes.

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