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19th Conference of the EOE Network under the Theme “Childhood & Nature” has been postponed until 19 – 23 October 2022 due to Covid 19.

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POSTPONED. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the 19th EOE-conference taking place in Marburg/Germany was postponed to 2022. The new date is 19th until 23th of October 2022. More information is available on the conference website.”.

The forthcoming EOE conference  will be hosted by bsj Marburg, a non-profit youth work organisation in Germany. The EOE Network is a vibrant association of practitioners and academics and this four-day conference will reflect that mix with practitioner case studies, practical workshops and academic presentations. It is a key networking event for social and youth workers, teachers and educators, students and academics from across Europe.
The conference will be held under the topic “Childhood and Nature”. Since one main focus is intended to be on considering the educational institutions of kindergarden, school and youth welfare in their function as companions to the developmental processes of children, we will look at the childhood phase between the ages of three and eleven. Seen from the point of view of developmental psychology, this is the phase of separation and individuation following the early symbiotic connection with the mother up to the threshold to adolescence. Moreover, it is the time of children’s increasing desire to become more and more self-determined in their actions, even if these are as yet small in scope. The family still provides enough security to support this desire. At the point of starting school this striving for autonomy receives its epistemic endowment. The desire of the child to act independently is stabilised and, at the same time, fostered by an energetic habitus formation, which, in the ideal case, is characterised by curiosity and thirst for knowledge, willingness to take risks, exploration drive, great powers of imagination, openness to the world, optimism and self-confidence.
Where children also have access to (more or less) open nature, their urge for autonomy can find attractive playful practice opportunities in natural places and atmospheres and with natural things. Watercourses, ponds, puddles, hedgerows, thickets, glades, trees, wild flowers, fallows, wind and storm, rain and snow, half-light and moonlight, fog and mist, the phenological year are brimful with opportunities for both boys and girls designed to foster the children’s habitus of openness. Here they can search and find, observe, construct and build, climb, collect and put into order, discover and explore, prove themselves, fail, whittle, recognise and describe. They need all their senses to perceive everything they encounter in their specific details. And at the end their hearts are full to bursting with their experiences and feelings, which they have to tell and tell and tell.
This short sketch marks out the framework within which the discussions, workshops, lectures, poster presentations, forums and debates are supposed to be held. In order to fill these outlined features of the event we are looking for contributions to the following topic areas:
• about the experience potentials of natural places, things and atmospheres
• about practice forms in natural places, with things and in specific atmospheres
• about the transitions between family to kindergarden & kindergarden to school
• about nature-related family welfare work
• about practice forms in natural places with educational institutions like kindergarden, school and youthwork
• about “low-threshold” therapeutical practise forms for children in natural places

Conference registration is open under
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