NQ School Project
The Anatta Foundation is a non-governmental organisation that focuses on a better connection between people and nature to create more psychological well-being, to get more respect for nature and to work on a ‘sustainable mindset’. We are inspired by ideas from Positive Psychology and various nature-based approaches. In Erasmus+ the foundation enjoys working with young people with a disability and other vulnerable youth groups. The foundation is the lead partner in this Erasmus+ project.
Thomas works as the international project manager for the Anatta Foundation in the Netherlands where he is the coordinator of this EU funded project on Nature Intelligence. He is passionate about environmental and positive psychology and seeks to combine both research fields in his work and studies. For the Anatta Foundation he delivers trainings for professionals on the promotions of wellbeing and people-nature connections. Thomas holds a PhD in social and environmental psychology.
Laura Grassi is an environmental scientist specializing in environmental protection and assessment, participatory environmental monitoring, and citizen science. She has a master’s in Science and Technology for the Environment and the Territory and an MC in Epidemiology. She has been working for Anatta since 2022 as researcher for Erasmus+ projects.
Ali GOKSU has recently worked as project coordinator/manager in many EU funded projects in various sectors (school, adult, higher and vocational education). He has been so far involved in and coordinated many EU projects, PCM (Project Cycle Management) trainings, and workshops. He works as project coordinator/researcher for Anatta Foundation to contribute to this project in terms of academic perspective and administration/coordination. He also holds his Ph.D. degree in the field of second/foreign language education, and is currently working as a Post-Doctoral researcher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. His research interests include second/foreign language acquisition, self-regulated learning, research and curriculum design.
Nature for People
Bureau Natuurvoormensen (Nature for People) is the research and consultancy agency of Prof. A.E. (Agnes) van den Berg, based in the Netherlands. Van den Berg is an environmental psychologist who specializes in research on healing environments and health benefits of nature. She is a pioneering and leading researcher in her field, with a track record of nearly 30 years. Her research interests encompass fundamental and applied issues related to the causes, mechanisms and health consequences of people-environment interactions. Van den Berg has authored more than 100 peer-refereed and professional publications on the importance of contact with nature for various groups, including families in deprived neighborhoods, young people with ADHD, and school children. In the past ten years she held a chair in Nature Perception and Health at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and currently is the owner of research company Nature for People.
Agnes van den Berg
Agnes is a Professor in the Perception and Evaluation of Nature and Landscape at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. She specializes in research on nature experience and health benefits of nature and is a pioneering and leading researcher in this field. Much of her work focuses on children and youth. Agnes combines her professorship with her own privately owned research company. Through this company she participates in applied projects aimed at the translation of theoretical insights into practical guidelines for planners, policy makers, and designers.
Femke Beute is a researcher and advisor within Environmental Psychology with a specialisation in the beneficial effects of nature and daylight on health and wellbeing. She owns the research consultancy company LightGreen Health, where she works on (applied) research projects, the application of innovative research methodologies and data analysis. She also conducts literature studies and is involved in education in (environmental) psychology.
Bossolasco-Murazzano Comprehensive Institute
The Bossolasco-Murazzano Comprehensive Institute is situated in Alta Langa, a picturesque rural area in the northwest of Italy known for its stunning natural beauty. The institute encompasses seven kindergartens, six primary schools, and four lower secondary schools and caters to students ranging from 3 to 13 years old. The education provided aligns with the Italian National Guidelines, with a strong emphasis on outdoor learning and a connection to the local area. In addition to the standard curriculum, the institute offers a range of extracurricular activities, especially in sports and the arts. The staff is regularly trained with a focus on outdoor education and innovative teaching methods. The institute actively participates in various local networks and is also a member of a network of schools promoted by Indire (The National Institute of Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research).
Marina Sacchetto is a dedicated junior high school teacher with an interest in outdoor learning and the discovery of the natural territory of Alta Langa. She teaches Italian, History, and Geography and also assists as the teacher’s training coordinator at the Bossolasco-Murazzano Comprehensive Institute. With her experience in coordinating school projects, she strives to bring a unique approach to education that incorporates hands-on learning experiences in nature.
Virginia Baricalla is a junior high school mathematics and science teacher at the Bossolasco-Murazzano Comprehensive Insitute. She is interested in establishing a link between theoretical knowledge and practical experiences in teaching science subjects. So that the learning experience takes place as a discovery, through concrete examples and nature connection.
Valentina Cagnasso has been teaching English to middle school children since 2016. She has had little exposure to nature in her childhood and adolescence and observation is a skill she has to develop yet. Even though she is pretty a beginner in the field of education and she is not very experienced at knowing the natural environment, she strongly believes in the importance for children to establish a connection with nature in order to build a healthier and more sustainable future. That is the reason why she is willing to implement innovative methodologies that can provide the students with the opportunity not only to learn a language but to grow their NQ and learn from experience.
I am Cristina Sibona. I am a support teacher in the primary school since 2015. I also taught English for two years in the same grade of school. After graduating from the linguistic high school “Leonardo Da Vinci” in Alba, I attended and I graduated in Primary Education Sciences at the University of Turin, with the specialization for support activities. I am also the contact person for special educational needs of the Bossolasco –Murazzano comprehensive school since 2019. Recently, I attended a training week on the CLIL methodology as part of an Erasmus + teacher mobility project in Plovdiv (Bulgaria).
Struin is a nature childcare and nature education center in Nijmegen, Netherlands. We believe that children develop best by playing in (wilder) nature. We see that it makes them happy and healthy. We know that playing in nature contributes to the connection with nature and we are convinced that this connection contributes to nature conservation. Our dream: a sustainable earth as a healthy living environment for all species. Our aim is therefore to pass on our earth to future generations in the best possible way.
On behalf of the childcare organization Struin BV. I, Marleen Ruigrok, am involved in the Erasmus+ Nature intelligence project. The importance of the project, I find, is that we offer tools to other educational professionals to undertake activities with children in nature. So that it becomes more accessible to go outside with children. It is precisely that fresh air, that sensory stimulation and the opportunities that nature offers for relaxation, play and development that should be anchored in the experiences and development space that we as adults facilitate for children. Childcare organization Struin brings children to the Dutch nature reserves every day. We see with our own eyes how this brings out resilient, perseverance and creative thinking and acting in children and how they can marvel at natural phenomena. That connection with heart, cognition and hands makes the world citizens of tomorrow. At Struin I work as a nature pedagogical policy officer and coach. Based on that experience, I want to commit myself to helping other education professionals and pedagogues to transfer their activities to the natural environment.
With the organization “Gröninga”, the lecturers Vera Oostinga and Gunter Grün-Oostinga have been offering courses and further training in the field of nature education, education for sustainable development, nature therapy, Scandinavian “Friluftsliv” and traditional handicrafts for over 15
years. The courses are primarily aimed at students, trainees and educators from the education sector. Based on heir many years of work as nature educators and nature guides, they impart very practice-oriented knowledge and skills for working with children in nature in their courses and accompany young educators with nature therapy methods in the personality development processes that are just as important for this work. With their courses in traditional handicrafts such as carving, equipment and canoe building, which are based on the Scandinavian outdoor tradition, they make sustainable lifestyles practically tangible.
Born in 1973 and raised in former East Germany, he studied social work after reunification and worked as a youth social worker in Madagascar and Siberia, among other places. He has been very close to nature since early childhood, loves to go canoeing, hiking and skiing preferably in the
north. A two-year training course in Sweden as a nature guide in the traditional form of the Scandinavian Friluftsliv” was the basis for his 17-year activity as a nature educator and lecturer in traditional crafts. In 2006, together with his wife Vera, he developed the first forest day care center
in Germany, a nature education project for school children and was a co-founder of the nature education daycare center “Baumhaus” in Potsdam. Building on his experience of working with children, he has been offering nature education, outdoor training and craft courses for many years.
Vera is a lecturer in salutogenic self-education processes in and with nature. She has completed her dissertation on personal development processes in and with nature and their connection to mental health/health promotion and holds seminars on this topic at various universities. Vera is a member of the German-Swiss university network “Personality Development in University Education”. For GRÖNINGA, as a nature educator, she inspires children, young people and adults for the Scandinavian Friluftsliv, takes them on nature tours and gives courses in traditional crafts. The basis for this is a completed one-year full-time training in “Friluftsliv” in Sweden and especially her regular encounters with nature since childhood. Vera is also a passionate singer and developed offers for relationship-oriented singing in nature education.
AEG1 is an education state institution that comprises pre-schools, primary schools, middle and a secondary school, totalling about 2,500 learners and 250 teachers. The diversity of the curricula mirrors the school’s commitment to the community and to its needs, that is, the school’s great concern for ensuring access to education and for promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. The main goal of the organisation is to provide a wide range of courses that together with high quality standards will enable children and youngsters to acquire useful qualifications in order to pursue higher education or to be better prepared for the world of work. Learning and achievement practises are based upon the encouragement of active citizenship bearing in mind the full development of young people as responsible, autonomous and action-oriented sustainable citizens.
Teresa Cameira has been a teacher of English in AEG1 for about 25 years. She has a deep knowledge of the school cluster and of the community it serves as she has been engaged in different intermediate leadership structures throughout these years, namely member of the school’s executive board, head of department, project coordinator, etc. She takes great interest in the topic as she believes young generations should be guided into establishing emotional bonds with nature as a way to promote their personal growth. NQ Schools provides the opportunity to do so and to implement new and innovative methodologies that place the learner at the centre of his learning process, creating long lasting learning processes.
Carlos Piedade has been a Physics and Chemistry teacher for about 26 years, being a teacher at AEG1 for the last 2 years. It has developed activities within the scope of school administration and has participated in several Erasmus+ projects since 2016, either with the participation of students or on the professional development of teachers. He currently coordinates another Erasmus+ project involving secondary school students from AEG1. He has a particular interest in environmental issues, which is why he has developed projects concerning environment and sustainability, such as the Coordination of the Eco-Schools programme, among others. Considering the growing environmental concerns that society faces, he believes it is essential the involvement and awareness of young people in building a healthier and more sustainable future.
Eduardo Naia has been teaching Portuguese for 33 years, 7 of which at AEG1. He is a teacher who holds different positions in the institution, from which the coordination of national and international projects can be highlighted as this kind of initiatives greatly contribute to the full development of young people as citizens and to the improvement of their skills. He invests in the training of young people in various areas of knowledge, teaching through the Arts and using new information and communication technologies. Within AEG1 he also coordinates, vertically and horizontally, the communication inside and outside the school’s doors, contributing to the identity of the institution as an active and entrepreneurial education establishment.