IFAU – INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING
The IFAU institute has been founded in 1989 by committed environmental activists with the goal to develop sustainable development and environmental learning.
Over the course of years numerous projects in the fields of education, landscape-and playground-design, protection of nature and environment as well as leisure and tourism have been worked out and achieved.
Since 2001 the IFAU has been increasingly focusing on the transfer of knowledge for children and adolescents. Around 2000 of them participate annually in various events.
Nature-pedagogical approaches and innovative transfer of knowledge are amidst the focus of our actions.
ORGANISATION AND OFFICE
The IFAU is a non-profit organisation with around 180 members. Head of the institute is a simplifying board of currently 8 members. Currently the IFAU provides work for 5 full-time employees and project-related various free-lancers.
AREAS OF OPERATION
Educational events for children and adolescents
From 1992 to 2013 the IFAU started to develop so called Projekttage especially for school-classes (3rd-12th level of education). An intensive 5 day altercation with nature and environment seeks to provide understanding for ecologic cycles and improving of the schoolclass-community. Around 30 events took place every year.
In 2004 the IFAU has begun to implement the idea of a university for children which has been constantly improved since then. In form of the trademark KinderUni OÖ a playful and inspirative approach to ’subjects of the world‘ is being provided. Science, research and creativity are being communicated by lectors from various scientific fields and praxis for children aging from 5 to 15 years.
Furthermore the IFAU provided educations and advanced training in the thematic field of ‚learning-space nature‘ (Lernraum Natur).
The course Outdoor Education provided a well-founded education for pedagogical work with children and adolescents in six modules. The communication of various disciplines such as nature-, wilderness-, adventure and game-pedagogic were subject to this education. Seminars for pedagogics, nature-communicators and/or nature-interested people complete the program of the IFAU.
Landscape and leisure-space design
Starting with 1994 until 2010 the IFAU organized an annual Symposion for landscape and leisure-space design. Innovative projects (best-space) and current trends for a specific subject of interest were being presented and discussed. This symposion could be regarded as the only expert conference to this subject nationwide.
Over 150 playgrounds, kindergardens and school alleys, adventure walks and parkways have been achieved by the IFAU in cooperation with different bureaus for landscape-planning. The main focus lies within the eco-spatial planning in cooperation with all involved parties (children, parents, teachers and neighbours).
Culture programs and -projects
The IFAU is also a center of competence for innovative culture programs and –projects. It‘s being assigned by a wide spectrum of clients, its program is multi-faceted:
Alongside a geological research-project so called Forschend lernen in primary school-classes has been accompanied over the period of one year.
In 2010 the IFAU has been assigned by the federal state of Upper Austria in the course of the project NATURSCHAUSPIEL to design thematic tours in nature-reservates focusing on local and regional peculiarities (plants and animals).