A conversation-From Apathy to Empathy

With the help of Minister for Education and Skills, Burrenbeo  announced that the  Burren village of Kinvara will host Ireland’s inaugural ‘Learning Landscape’ workshop in August.

Plans were launched by Ruairi Quinn on Friday 8th of June detailing a summer gathering with a difference. Titled ‘From Apathy to Empathy – Reconnecting People and Place  this unique event will bring together leading US and EU thinkers and practitioners specialising in the theme of ‘Place Based Learning’ and will lead  the way the development of  ‘Place based’ Education in Ireland.   

Place-based learning encourages the use of the local environment as a creative learning resource and outdoor classroom. It immerses students in local heritage, culture and landscape, encouraging them to become more aware of their role in this rich ecosystem of life. Place based learning offers proven physical and mental health benefits and can also inspire students to engage more fully and creatively in critical issues of sustainability by helping them to empathise with the needs of their place – be it issues affecting their local area, their country or even their planet – and become active leaders in responding to these issues.

A number of key themes will be explored during the workshop including:

  • What are the benefits – for people and places - of place-based learning?
  • What is best practice internationally in engaging and inspiring people with     regard to their place?
  • How can the Burren, Ireland’s ultimate outdoor classroom, be better utilised and developed as a learning landscape? 

This intimate learning event will take place in an eclectic range of venues across Kinvara and in the stunning Burren landscape nearby. International speakers from the United States include David Sobel and David W Orr who will be joined by other European speakers as they participate in workshops, on-site demonstrations as well as guided walks, picnics, cultural events and much more.  Participants will be immersed in some of Ireland’s most inspiring places and challenged to engage fully with these places and the issues that impact on them, learning lessons and techniques which can be adapted to their own place and its needs.

A spokesperson from Burrenbeo said   ‘this is an exciting time for learning in Ireland, a time to get back to basics and focus on what is truly important. The Burren is an incredible place to experience some or all of the various aspects that go into creating a ‘sense of place’. Here we have a readily accessible range of geological, archaeological, ecological and cultural attributes – the ‘building blocks’ of most places and a wonderful ‘outdoor classroom.  Ireland’s most perfect environment for Place based learning and a landscape that truly supports us as we create a vision for our future.
Gathering will take place August 22nd – 24th..

Burrenbeo Trust is a registered Charity (CHY 16834) dedicated to the Burren and its people.