Living, Inquiring and Knowing: outdoor practices for sustainability (LINK Outdoor)

Title of the BIP

Living, Inquiring and Knowing: a hub of outdoor practices for sustainability (LINK Hub)

Hosting University

University of Evora (PORTUGAL)

1st Virtual Period start:

26th September 2024

1st Virtual Period end:

29th September 2024

In-presence Period start:

30th September 2024

In-presence Period end:

5th October 2024

2nd Virtual Period start:

10th October 2024

2nd Virtual Period end:

31st October 2024

Language of teaching:

English B1

ECTS credits:


Number of participants:


Study level required:

Master and PhD students from different subject areas, including Sciences, Humanities, and Arts.

Selection criteria:



Prof. Maria Ilhéu (University of Evora)

Programme description

Education for sustainability needs to consider the connection to ‘others’ (human and non-human entities) in the natural-cultural world. Enabling students to embrace different ways of knowing, feeling, perceiving, and connecting with ‘others’, in the realm of the multispecies communities we live in, is a key to a sustainable future.

The increase in human-induced pressures and changes upon the natural world (our common home) makes this an immediate priority. A sustainable future for all demands deep changes in our behaviors, that can be promoted and supported thanks to transformative learning. It relies on acquiring competences that recognize the complexity required by such a future, the commitment required to preserve some important sociocultural values, and the need for a proactive approach, as expressed in the GreenComp Framework.

This BIP proposes the use of immersive and transformative experiences in the landscape and in the hardscape, as hubs for research and learning. Applying different research-based learning methods (both online and in person), students will be empowered to work collaboratively across disciplines. Through theoretical backgrounds, immersive experiences, analysis and discussions of Real-World case studies, taken from a local context during a joint activity, participants will develop their perception of the need, and capacity, to embrace sustainability in their daily lives as global citizens, regardless of their diverse roles in society. This transnational and interdisciplinary BIP will promote creative and collaborative approaches that will inspire students to innovate their own studies and research topics, and to create stimulating healthy lifestyles and deep relationships with natural and socio-cultural ecosystems. In this way it not only empowers students at a personal level but also brings together a set of experts to develop exciting and innovative approaches to teaching and learning in the outdoors, in direct connection with the social, cultural, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

The foundational concepts for this BIP include the centrality of a learner’s subjective experience (Dewey, 1938), the positive educational impact of immersive experiences in the environment (Denison and Oliver 2013), and the potential to co-create learning experiences that can be transformational (Cook, 2019). Three moments define this BIP: i) in-presence immersive experiences involving diverse methods of inquiry; ii) online classes with theoretical concepts and background practices related to education for sustainability competences and outdoor experiential research-based learning; iii) an individual or group autonomous transdisciplinary outdoor project (with online tutorial support), contributing to the expected transformative process through discussion and assessment. The BIP is oriented to Master and PhD students from different subject areas, including Sciences, Humanities, and Arts.