The title of our project “Knowledge without love will not stick” is a quotation by John Burroughs, an American naturalist. He stated that if love comes first, knowledge is sure to follow. This quotation is our starting point of our project. We mostly teach abstractly to our primary level students, away from real life, away from nature, so they forget easily what they have learnt.The main aim of our project is to develop pupils’ observation skills, to let them find out the beauties around them, and observe them. As a result of focusing on beauties, unique properties of their lives will motivate them to think positively. Developing positive attitudes and affection to the observed will end in curiosity for learning more. If our pupils are motivated and love the subject the learning will occur easily and will be longlasting. As primary school teachers we have crucial impacts on our pupils. We have to find survival skills to teach them in order to make them keep pace with the rapid advances of technology. Predicting which skill or skills will be more beneficial for our pupils to lead a successful life is not easy.
Observation skill appears to be a simple skill but in fact it is the most important skill to be taught to our primary-school aged children. Our project aims to hone pupils’ observation skills through applying constructivist teaching methods, which enable pupils to take part in the learning process actively. Pupils get into contact with nature, animals and shortly with the world in their learning process. The participants of the project are third graders, who are at the age of 9 or 10, and their teachers. There will be two transnational project meetings at the beginning and at the end of the project. The number of LTT activities is two. 4 pupils accompanied by 2 teachers from each country will attend the LTT activities. The main objectives of mobilities are to observe other countries’ educational systems, teaching methods and be aware of the applications. Exchanging ideas, practices will strengthen our teaching professions. Our pupils will understand the importance of learning a foreign language and communicating in English will motivate them to be more enthusiastic about learning foreign languages.
The activities planned for two years are hands-on activities, which are the best applications of constructivism. The pupils will do the observations within a disciplinary framework. Pupils start to take fields notes when they start observing, and they will develop their abilities in observing, comparing, assessing, all of which lead them to think critically and gain them different points of views. Interaction with nature in order to explore knowledge will be an invaluable experience for our pupils, most of whom are addicted to televisions, video games, ipads. Having been involved in virtual games, pupils lose their ability to connect with the real world. Parents think that keeping their children inside, either by watching television or by playing virtual games will be safer. However they are not aware of the harm they are giving to their children by keeping them inside.
Going outside with their parents will strengthen their relationships and create a more positive atmosphere in their learning process. Observing how long a plant or a tree or an animal grows will raise their awareness towards them and help them be motivated to protect natural life. We want to connect our pupils with nature since our pupils learn more when they explore and experience the knowledge by themselves. As teachers we believe that when we integrate learning in the natural environment, we will get the most successful results.
In order to diminish underachievement in basic skills, we have planned activities in which we integrate them with school garden. During the project process, we will do changes in our school gardens to provide the pupils to observe how a plant, a flower, a vegetable grows. The expected short-term results on our pupils will be observing their improvements both academically and personally. Having connection with the world, realizing what is happening around their surroundings, countries and in Europe or in other parts of the world, will raise their awareness to the problems and develop their critical thinking and problem solving abilities. In the long run we expect to bring up conscious citizens who will be concerned with their environment, social and economic issues and will have the capacity to solve the problems they face and lead successful lives.