Innovation, Creativity and Innovative Thinking… Near East University faculty member Assist. Prof. Dr. Çimen Özburak’s “Learning by Training in Nature Project” received “Honorary Award”


Near East University Faculty of Architecture lecturer Assist. Prof. Dr. Çimen Özburak was deemed worthy of the “Honorary Award” with her project on sustainable living environment education model project on early childhood development and education in the Education for Sustainable Development Competition held by OMEP World Early Childhood Education Organization which provides UNESCO with education consultancy for children.

According to the information provided by the Press and Public Relations Directorate of Near East University, Assist. Prof. Dr. Çimen Özburak has received the OMEP “ESD Awards-2020 Honor Award” with her project titled “Children are like non-frozen concrete, whatever falls on them leaves its traces (Haim Jinott)”, which she created for her five-year-old children age group. She was also entitled to take part in the UNESCO 2030 project program. Assist. Prof. Dr. Özburak will be made a member of the Turkey-OMEP organization and support the projects. The award-winning project will be added to the World OMEP website and published in 2 different journals.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Çimen Özburak, with the early childhood education project, which covers the years that the child spends from birth to primary school and plays an important role in the subsequent lives of children, has become one of the members leading the methods that can be applied in early childhood education and development.

Learning from nature through Game Method…
An “activity program” was prepared by taking the “LEED Green Building Certificate System Criteria” guide in the “Sustainable Living Environment” model in “Preschool Education”, which was prepared with the aim of providing the children with information about the buildings and their environment where they spend most of their time every day. The “Sustainable Farm”, consisting of cottages and vegetable planting areas suitable for children’s own size, was established in the school courtyard of the Near East Pre-School Education Center to enable the activities in the program implemented with children aged 5. The program, which is based on learning from nature and playing method, includes a total of 11 activities indoors and outdoors. Cultivating their own vegetables (mint, lettuce, onion, etc.), building and maintaining a green roof, collecting rainwater from the roof of the building, obtaining electricity from the sun and wind energy and composting are among the activities.

Environmental awareness of children has been tested…
Before the program was implemented, the children were pre-tested and their awareness about the environment was measured. After the completion of the program, a final test was administered and the level of consciousness that they developed towards the environment was re-measured. After the implemented activities, it was revealed that there was a serious increase in the positive awareness of the children towards the environment. The work carried out was added to the literature with an international publication to shed light on future studies.

A project that lays the basics of the future…
Near East University Faculty of Architecture member Assist. Prof. Dr. Çimen Özburak stated that environmental awareness should be created in children at an early age, and based on this knowledge, a “sustainable living environment” education model was created for children aged 5 years.