CARE08063 2016 Working with Nature: Social Pedagogy and Engaging with the Natural Environment

General Details

Full Title
Working with Nature: Social Pedagogy and Engaging with the Natural Environment
Transcript Title
Working with Nature
75 %
Subject Area
CARE - Social Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Breda McTaggart, Tamsin Cavaliero, Natalie Delimata
Programme Membership
SG_WSOCI_H08 201600 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice

This module will revisit traditional modes of engaging with the natural world through an exploration of the folk traditions with a particular emphasis on the seasons and what they offer by way of materials or ingredients. The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of how engagement with the lived environment and it's associated traditions gives the participant a greater sense of belonging and connectedness.  Furthermore, by experiencing the natural world students will come to understand the importance of place and space in the formation of identity. This module will be underpinned by social pedagogic theory and will focus on the acquisition of practical skills that integrate the head, the heart and the hands.

This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:

Domain 1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability

Domain 2: Communication, Collaborative Practice, and Team working

Domain 4: Professional Development

Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate their understanding of the importance of engaging with nature in relation to health and well-being (Domains 5.1, 5.4, 5.7).


Use natural materials to create a variety of crafts, foods, herbal preparations and folk objects (Domain 5.12, 5.16).


Use nature based activities to promote belonging and connectedness (5.1, 5.11, 5.12, 5.16).


Show their understanding of the relationship between environment and identity (Domain 5.1, 5.4, 5.12)..


Explain how engagement with nature is integral to social pedagogic praxis (Domain 1.8, 1.22, 1.23, 2.2, 2.13, 4.1, 5.4, 5.6, 5.7, 5.11, 5.19).

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Students will attend weekly lectures and two hour practical tutorials

Module Assessment Strategies

Continuous assessment and project-based assessment.

This modules assessment allows for assessment of CORU Standards of Proficiency as follows:

Presentation (research project) 50% (Domain 1.8, 2.2, 2.3, 2.16, 3.6, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.11, 5.12, 5.16, 5.17)

Learning Journal (reflective work) 50% (Domain 1.22, 1.23, 2.13, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.13, 5.16, 5.19)

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment will be decided at exam boards with input from the lecturer.

Indicative Syllabus

1. The importance of engaging with nature in relation to health and well-being.

  • Walking in the natural environment
  • Recognise flora, fauna and fungi
  • Dr. Ilardi's theory of psycho-social well being

2. The use of natural of materials to create a variety of crafts, foods, herbal preparations and folk objects.

  • Collecting and creating with natural materials 
  • Warren's theory of creative therapy
  • Exploring the relationship between the head, the heart and the hands

3. The use of nature based activities to promote belonging and connectedness.

  • Searching, sharing and showing in nature 
  • Recognition of the seasons and the rhythm of nature
  • Working in groups on nature-based projects (indoor and outdoor environments)

4. The relationship between environment and identity.

  • Reading the history of the natural environment
  • Exploring traditions and festivals 

5. Social pedagogic praxis and engagment with nature.

  • Exploring the theory of social pedagogy in relation to outdoor activities
  • Exploring the theory of social pedagogy through using natural materials in the development of skills 
  • Exploring methods of working with nature across a range of client groups



Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Research project Continuous Assessment Project 50 % Week 6 1,4,5
2 Reflective work Project Project 50 % Week 12 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Workshop Flat Classroom Workshop 1 Weekly 1.00
Practical Flat Classroom Practice based learning 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Beeton, I. (2008)Mrs Beeton's Book of Household management USA: Oxford University Press

Berry, C. (1997) 130 New Wine Making Recipes. England: Nexus Special Interest 

Bethmann, L. (2011) Hand Printing from Nature: Create unique prints for fabric, paper, and other surfaces using natural and found materials. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing

Bruton-Seal, J. M. Seal (2008) Hedgerow Medicine. Shropshire: Merlin Unwin Books

Buzzell, LampC. Chalquist (eds) (2009) Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club

Cohen, M. (2007) Reconnecting with Nature. Lakeville, Minn: Ecopress

Crawford, B.M. (2009) Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York: The Penguin Press

Dean, J. (2011) The Craft of Natural Dyeing: Glowing Colours from the Plant World. Kent: Search Press

Don, M. (2006) Growing Out of Trouble.  London: Hodder and Stoughton

Fearnley-Whittingstall, H. (1997) A Cook on the Wild Side: The Indispensable Guide to Collecting and Cooking Wild Food. London: Boxtree

Louv, R. (2008) Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Syndrome. New York:Algonquin Books

Louv, R. (2012) The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age. New York: Algonquin Books

Marshall, R. (2003) Celebrating Irish Festivals: Calendar of seasonal celebrations.Gloucestershire: Hawthorn Press

Petrash, C. (1993) Earthwise: Environmental Crafts and Activities with Young Children Edinburgh: Floris Books

Scheweizer, S. (2009) Under the Sky: Playing, working and enjoying adventures in the open air, a handbook for parents, carers and teachers. East Sussex: Sophia Books

West, K. (2002) The Real Witches Kitchen: Spells, Recipes, Oils, Lotions and Potions from the Withches' Hearth. London: Thorsons

URL Resources

Children in Nature Network

Nature Nurture

Other Resources


Additional Information