ELENA is a trans-European cooperative project of partners from Germany, Hungary, Romania and Georgia with the aim to promote the awareness of nature and the responsibility for nature.
The main idea of the project is to introduce living animals into the classroom (animal-assisted education): they can assist teaching and co-supervised responsibly by students. Living animals are "a heart openers" and therefore increase pupils' motivation and interests in the learning process, while experiential learning methods contribute to carrier competences. This approach was highly successful in the model project "Tiere live" of the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL, Germany) and is now adopted to the partner countries needs and situations.
Our three-year-long project (2013-2016) starts with a baseline study in the participating countries, and a development of a Competency Framework – and based on their results teaching modules – will be adapted and developed as well as teachers trained and encouraged to use the method in the classroom.