On September 25, 2023, the experience exchange workshop “Learning by Doing” was held in Daugavpils by Daugavpils University Association for Lifelong Learning, Culture, and Science Communication “Intellect Park”. The workshop was led by the Chairperson of the Board of the Norwegian non-governmental organization “Omsozams Venner,” Ingebjørg Mikalsen, and the member of the association, Merete Bøhn-Flatås.
The workshop chairpersons introduced the principles of the activities of Norwegian non-governmental organizations and their goals, as well as innovative practices in areas that align with the strategic directions of “Omsozams Venner” and “Intellect Park”. Focusing on the educational pillar, the Norwegian colleagues presented innovative approaches to environmental education for children and adolescents and the integration of the Norwegian language into the learning process for students from refugee families. Merete and Ingebjørg introduced several didactic techniques and interactive methods for working with diverse age groups and audiences of different ethnic backgrounds. The most significant interest among the attendees was sparked by the Norwegian colleagues’ insights into the collaboration between children and parents, as well as students and educators. The presenters familiarized the audience with the concept of a free learning environment, where the “learning by doing” approach fosters skills of critical thinking and practical competence from an early age.
Representatives from the NGO “Omsozams Venner” invited members of the association “Intellect Park” to reflect on their experiences working with children and adolescents. In conclusion, Merete and Ingebjørg emphasized the importance of outdoor sports activities and spending time outdoors for enhancing the mental and physical health, as well as socialization skills, in children.
Members of the association “Intellect Park” asked several discussion-provoking questions regarding the suitability of the applied methods for specific age groups, challenges in migrant integration, and language barriers in the implementation of various activities. The Chairperson of the Board, Maija Burima, expressed gratitude to the Norwegian cooperation partners – NGO “Omsozams Venner,” for sharing best practices and practical examples in collaborating with audiences of various ages, especially preschool-age children. This age group is highlighted as one of the significant priorities in the new strategy of “Intellect Park.” The knowledge and insights gained during the workshop about new approaches to environmental education and the principle of “learning by doing” will be integrated into the new educational activities of “Intellect Park” for children, adolescents, youth, and families.
The workshop took place with the financial support of the Active Residents Fund project “CAPITAL: Capacity for Growth and Further (Co)Operation,” grant agreement No. AIF/2022/KAPAC2/108.