In and out – The Use of Out­door Me­thods and Spaces in So­cial Work in Hun­ga­ry


Authors: Julia Kosztka


In this re­se­arch, I in­ves­ti­ga­ted how dif­fe­rent ex­pe­ri­en­ti­al lear­ning ba­sed out­door me­thods are prac­ti­ced in the field of so­cial work in Hun­ga­ry.
I in­ter­view­ed prac­ti­cing so­cial work pro­fes­sio­nals with spe­ci­fic em­pha­sis on gai­ning an in­sight into as many are­as of so­cial work prac­ti­ce as pos­si­ble.
Ba­sed on the re­se­arch, I found that the tool­box of me­thods used in so­cial work is quite di­ver­se. When sel­ec­ting one me­thod or an­o­ther, bes­i­des as­ses­sing the needs and cha­rac­te­ristics of any gi­ven cli­ent group, equal­ly im­portant fac­tors ap­pear to be the per­so­nal in­te­rests and skill­sets of the col­le­agues working at a gi­ven in­sti­tu-tion, as well as the fun­ding op­por­tu­ni­ties. The fo­cus of my re­se­arch was on meth-ods of ex­pe­ri­en­ti­al lear­ning: out­door ex­pe­ri­en­ti­al edu­ca­ti­on, out­door trai­ning, wil­der-ness and ad­ven­ture the­ra­py tools. Out of the­se is most­ly (in­door) ex­pe­ri­en­ti­al edu­ca-tion that is found among the me­thods used by Hun­ga­ri­an so­cial work-ers. The in­vol­vement of the out­doors and the na­tu­ral en­vi­ron­ment most­ly ap­pear in re­crea­tio­nal and free time ac­ti­vi­ties and de­pends upon the cha­rac­te­ristics of the in­sti­tu-tion and the per­so­nal con­nec­tion to na­tu­re of the pro­fes­sio­nals in ques­ti­on. The con-scious the­ra­peu­tic use of na­tu­re seems to be more of a uni­que­ness than com­mon prac-tice in Hun­ga­ri­an so­cial work. A high le­vel of in­te­rest and open­ness has been de­mon-stra­ted in terms of lear­ning and ap­p­ly­ing new me­thods as well as in­clu­ding sus­taina­bil-ity and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion in pro­fes­sio­nal work.

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