This report discusses the challenges and opportunities faced by current generations, such as climate change and rapid technological advancements, and the need for new learning methods and skills to navigate these issues. Two pedagogical approaches are explored, nature-based learning and augmented reality (AR) education, that can complement three core learning environments: personal, digital, and natural world.
Nature-based learning has a long history and aims to connect young people with nature, providing them with knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and positive impacts on self-concept, discipline, social skills, mental health, and academic performance, among others. The importance of technology in education is also emphasised, particularly through AR, a sub-division of extended reality (XR). AR’s potential is seen as an accessible tool providing an immersive learning environment, enabling interactions with digital and physical environments simultaneously. AR supports multiple pedagogical theories, enhancing students’ motivation, active learning, memory recall, and social interaction. However, limitations include applicability across all subjects, integration issues, technology affordability, and an increased cognitive load on learners.
The report offers guiding questions for teachers contemplating the integration of nature- and AR-based education. It highlights the importance of AR in amplifying nature-based experiences, offering new ways of interaction, and presenting nature at varied scales or over different time periods. The objective is not to replace but to augment traditional learning with these innovative pedagogical approaches, enhancing students’ readiness for a rapidly evolving future.