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19th Conference of the EOE Network under the Theme “Childhood & Nature” has been postponed until Autumn 2021 due to Covid 19.

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POSTPONED. The EOE Network October 2020 conference in Marburg has been postponed until Autumn 2021 due to Covid 19.

The forthcoming EOE conference in 2020 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
For further information please write to


  1. Post comment

    10th December 2019

    ‘Dear Peter Wilde,
    I think that we meet in Traalee this year where I have workshops in the topic of Outdoor Education.
    My group at Linköping University at Spetsa Company, University Holding and the Scandinavian Outdoor Academy we have started are interested to participate in Marburg next year with both lectures and workshops connected to the Theme: Children and Natur. We think the are could be a focus: * about the experience of natural places and practic forms in natural places as one application. But also about: “low-threshold” therapeutical practice forms for children in natural places. Here we have the director Paul Silverstråle that works with “Evotraining” and antistress workshops and lectures about Green,- Blue- therapeitic with teachers and children. He is 11 folded European Gold master in a Chinese concentration sport and works a lot abroad in Europe China and Japan.
    ** My own area is more connected to outdoor education in nature with pre- primary school treachers related to use and interprete the whole curruculum in pre- and primary school.
    I and my teachers at Linköping University cooperate with your University and prof Peter Becker many years ago and deliver workshops in Marburgh at an EU-project.
    I also organise the 4th EOE conference in Sweden/Rimforsa under the theme: Other Ways of Learning – Reading the landscape 2001.
    My interest is to participate 2020 and to deliver one lecture and one workshop.
    As a suggestion for a Theoretical presentation: “Outdoor Education Experience potentials in Nature as the learning landscape and mindscape – practical didactic forms, the object, way and process of teaching and learning with children” from 40 years work and experince in Sweden, Europe and Asia.

    The Workshop could be: “Hands on and Minds on Experience in Nature with preschool and primary school institutions – “doing and knowing – knowing and doing” the same side of the outdoor education coin, reflection and knowledge in action”.

    My friend Paul Sllverstråle, evotrainer, physiothetrapist and masseur working with children and teachers in this are is alos one person from the group in Linköping, I had to discuss this before Christmas time with him.

    I and my college University Teachers and outdoor life educator Britta Brugge also se forward meeting you in Marburg next Autumn.

    If you are interested in a new reserach paper produced 2019 i October where I am the co-writer as an owerviw about: Academica performance, Contact with Nature and Physcal education related to teaching and learning in the out – of – doors that i promote in Traalee, you can load it down in English froim this web site:
    You can even find my publications on:
    Thre is even a new Swedish book (not translated yet to UK) with the titel: Utomhuspedagogik, Lärmiljö, närmiljö och det utvidgade klassrummet – Outdoor Education, Learning Environments, and the Extended Classroom) published at Student Literarture in the City of Lund 2019, 280pp where I have one chapter. This book will be used at Swedish University Teacher training units.

    As a last information me and my friends at Linköping University started the first Master program for teachers (preschools and comulsory schools 20 years ago) in: Outdoor Environmental Education. This program i still going now as a an International 60 Bologna Credit Master program in Outdoor Didactic and Sustainabel Education.

    ** My work today is at Spetsa Company, University Holding (from 1th of October) and as a member of The Center for Outdoor Education at Faculty of Education. It is in a way interested to see how this area have developed since 40 years ago, now even more important than before because the contact with nature we need to implement in the childrens and even adult brains, if the world “will be alive i the future”.
    This is my reflection about contact with Nature that we belongs to, but today are fare away from.
    Best regards
    Anders Szczepanski, ass prof Outdoor Education
    Dr. (Ph. Lic)
    Senior Advidser Outdoor Education at Spetsa Company, University Holding,
    Center for Outdoor Education at Faculty of Education
    Phone: +46 (0) 709 756803
    Skype: (andsz55)


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