In September, the participants and mentors of Slovenian study circles met again after five years. This time, the meeting took place under the auspices of the Climate Goals and Content in Education project. Otherwise, the traditional Caravan of Study Circles took on the name Climate Caravan this time.

Foto: Špela Jambriško
The topic of environmental protection in such groups is not accidental. Study circles often choose green learning challenges. As a result, local initiatives such as vegetable growing, observing endangered species and preserving the old tradition of self-sufficiency have come to life. The groups are embedded in the local environment (also natural) and know its challenges, which is why they are an excellent place for environmental education.

This year’s Caravan was, therefore, climate oriented. It was hosted by Ormož AEC, which, with its  premises, renovated in line with energy-saving principles, is also a shining example of care for the environment at the institutional level.

Foto: Špela Jambriško

The visitors were particularly impressed by the morning visits of representatives of initiatives from the local environment. Among the examples of good sustainable practices, they learned how in Ormož, they adapt water supply (enrichment of groundwater) and vegetables (irrigation) by pumping water from the Drava River. One of the groups also visited the area of the former sugar factory, where the Ormož Lagoon Nature Reserve was established. The latter became an important observation point of the Slovenian Bird Observation and Study Society.

Foto: Špela Jambriško
A lecture by Renat Bertalanič from the Slovenian Environment Agency on climate change followed the tour of good practices. Next were the speeches of the director of Ormož AEC, Viki Ivanuša, the coordinator of Slovenian study circles, Dr Nevenka Bogataj of the SIAE, long-time mentor of the reading study circles, Viktorija Dabič, and deputy mayor of Ormož Municipality, Irma Murad. Various organisations presented their products and activities at the stands, and the Folklore Group of Črnomelj AEC provided dancing and laughter with their performance.
Foto: Špela Jambriško
In the afternoon, the participants listened to a brief round table with guests Jana Turk Šulc, Viki Ivanuša and Helena Furlan. They discussed the preparation and implementation of environmentally oriented ALE programmes. The round table was followed by a presentation of innovative educational methods that can be linked to sustainable competences.

The rich and high-quality programme of the Climate Caravan will undoubtedly resonate in future study circle projects. So let’s hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next one as we did for this year’s Caravan.

Ema Meden (, SIAE

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Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, dr Nataša Potočnik, Directress of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MSc and dr Tanja Rupnik Vec | Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: | Translation/proofreading: Mesto znanja, izobraževanje in svetovanje za osebno rast, Petra Cvek, s. p.  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: