Reason for this project
University education is up in a way that promotes learning and training cognitive skills. For developing professional and personal skills such as working together and dealing with insecurities, this form of education is insufficient. How can handling horses help in learning such skills?
Within their study programme, students are expected to learn personal and professional skills such as working together, making a schedule, and setting work boundaries. These are cultivated by experience, reflection, and experimentation. But due to the strong emphasis on cognitive learning at university, these skills are insufficiently trained. Consequently, students struggle with this a lot.
By leaving the classroom and entering the field, these skills can be properly developed. Horse handling lends itself excellently to this. Horses are forgiving, honest, and sensitive to their environment, which causes them to instantly and intuitively react to body language or behaviour.
That is why Carolin Ossenkop's goal for this voucher project is setting up a learning environment in which professional and personal skills are be developed through activities with horses. There activities are shaped based on Kolb's learning cycle (2015), which consists of gaining concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation, and active experimentation.