Learning green care in nordic countries : based on observations, good practices and supporting theoretical frameworksHonkajuuri, Heidi; Lidfors, Lena; Berget, Bente; Thodberg, Karen; Solhäll, Eva;
The aim of this report is to give some background research on how Green Care, Naturebased interventions (NBI) and Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) can support students at different levels in the school sector, and to present eight different schools/farms that offer support to students with different challenges. The report is the effort of a collaboration between Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark within the Erasmus+ project Learning Green Care that has been running from 2018-2021.
There is an increasing awareness in the Nordic countries that children with special challenges have problems with the regular school and increasing problems with school attendance, in some cases leading to complete dropout. Developing schools with much outdoor activities such as Kiipula in Finland, Karolinaskolan in Sweden and Green Chimneys in USA is one way to give students support. Another option is that private farms can have some students visiting the farm on a regular basis such as with Inn pa Tunet in Norway, Green Arena farms in Sweden and private farms in all Nordic countries. This is usually based on close collaborations between schools and farms in municipalities. As the municipalities decides how they want to use the government money for schools, offers to the students in need of support may vary between municipalities, regions and countries. Politicians need to learn about the “good examples” of how farm schools and private farms can help students in different ways.
Learning Green Care should be carried out within the One Health – One Welfare framework. International research shows varying results on how Green Care, NBI and AAI affects students of varying ages. Therefore, there is a need for more research, especially in the Nordic countries and within the Nordic school and health system. If students can finish school with approved grades, they have a better possibility to get a job or to continue studying. This will lead to improve national economy due to lowered risk for these students to end up having to be financially supported by the society.
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