Schools and leisure education institutions
Education is the most straightforward way to raise awareness, as it involves the transfer of knowledge and the awakening of attitudes and values. School and leisure education are the social framework in which most of a person's education takes place. It is an ideal arena for promoting land stewardship, so it is important to engage teachers and educators in land stewardship.
Land stewardship can also be introduced in educational schemes through service learning, a method of teaching that combines formal instruction with a related service in the community. Through this strategy, learning is enhanced through direct application in appropriate social contexts of principles and practices taught in the classroom. This service integrates meaningful community service to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, encourage lifelong social involvement, and strengthen communities for the common good.
Example - The land stewardship game in Catalonia introduces land stewardship in the school curricula. It consists of a cooperative Role Playing Game in which the participants assume the role of one of the stakeholders involved in one or more land stewardship agreements that can happen in a fictional town. The land stewardship game includes characters such as landowners, the town mayor, different kinds of organisations, economic groups, and other interest groups. The aim of the players is to promote as many viable land stewardship agreements as possible.
Recommendations to be considered by schools and leisure education institutions
- Introduce land stewardship in the school curricula.
- Contact land stewardship organisations acting in your area, to promote outdoor activities.
- Visit lands under stewardship agreements and explore the benefits to the landowners, to people and to nature.
- Devote one week, a weekend or a few days of the year to land stewardship, and during that week perform educational activities, invite stewardship organisations to explain their job to the students and visit some lands under stewardship agreements.
- Develop land stewardship games or similar initiatives with your group.
- Develop service learning schemes, in collaboration with a land stewardship organisation.
- Create school nature reserves in valuable places close to the school developing a land stewardship agreement as a cross curricular exercise.