Milano, March 14th, 2019
Milan, more precisely Palazzo Lombardia, hosted the last taskforce meeting of YOUrALPS project which focused on the long term vision of the Alpine School Model (ASM). The main topic discussed has been the management of the certification process that intends to grant schools that engage in Mountain Oriented Education (MOE) with an Alpine School Certification. This certification aims not only at improving schools’ visibility in mountain territories but also to provide students with high quality educational material and activities in order to reconnect them with their mountain environment. In this vision the integration of non-formal education is a necessary condition and should be fostered accordingly.
After the welcoming by the representatives of Regione Lombardia, the discussion got quickly to the point. Each partner came up with ideas regarding the management of the certification process with particular focus on national specificities.
With regard to the selection of the certifying entity, the two main options envisaged by the taskforce have been:
- Country based solutions in order to address national specificities;
- A common certification under the eco-school network or another internationally recognised label provider, with flexibility for the internal process of certification.
The partners after an exhaustive debate agreed that the second option seems more viable than the first. In particular, the advantages acknowledged consist in profiting from already existing certification know-how and accessing an existing international network that has its visibility. Nevertheless, this option still has to be validated by the partner consortium in order to advance and take further concrete measures. Another important topic for the long-term use of mountain-oriented education is its inclusion in national curricula. A common challenge is that curricula are established at the national level and only little margin is left to formally integrate additional contents. However, there is some flexibility left which motivated teachers can exploit to integrate MOE related contents and methods into classical teaching. In this sense, the group agreed that investment in teacher and educator training through conferences and seminars would be a good option to foster the approach.
All those issues will be further discussed and developed at a project steering group meeting on May 15th in Morbegno.