education   HISTORY
The Educational Department was created in 1998 with the aim to encourage young children discover how to learn from various environments – from museums to nature itself.

During the Christmas period of that year, the Foundation also launched the Workshop of Creative Activities for children wishing to spend their free time creatively.

In October 1999, the Foundation established the first Children's Lending Library in Cephalonia, in order to motivate the children to read books, to develop their ability to choose a book and generally to expand their wider intellectual and cultural horizons.

Since then, the Educational Department has been operating successfully with growing participation, constantly enriching its activities and offering a dynamic and modern learning environment for the children of Cephalonia.
The operation of the Educational Department is fully funded by the Focas - Cosmetatos Foundation. The children's financial contribution is limited to the cost of consumables required in the courses.
Continuous training of the personnel – both in Greece and abroad – is also exclusively funded by the Foundation.

The Educational Department designs and implements educational programmes for children under the guidance and supervision of
Ms P. Vassala, member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation,
Dr of Pedagogical Sciences and Head of Environmental Education of the Prefecture of Cephalonia.

The subjects of these programmes may vary, but they all share the same principles: to train the children in creative thinking and to raise their awareness, from the first years of their lives, of the need to protect their natural and cultural heritage.

In particular, the basic aims of the educational programmes are the following:

1. To provide the children with the means for independent learning and studying (learning how to learn).

2. To develop, through new teaching and pedagogical approaches, the children's skills of observation, prediction, hypothesis, generalization, comparison, contrast and evaluation.

3. To familiarize the children with museums, works of art, and their the cultural, technological and natural heritage.

4. To make the visits to the Collections and Cephalonia Botanica an exciting and creative experience, not only for the children themselves but also for their parents and teachers .
The educational programmes are carried out in the mornings and are designed specifically for students of kindergartens and primary schools. They rely on the children's participation, individual action and self-expression. Students are accompanied by their teachers throughout the course.

The aim of these educational programmes is to acquaint the children with their cultural and natural environment but also to enable them to function as universal humans beings in the wider world.

SUBJECT: “AB in Letterland”
GRADE: 2nd and 3rd Primary School grades
DURATION: 1 hour and 30'
DESCRIPTION: A journey in time: the history and development of the written word, from stone tablet to printing press.

SUBJECT: “The Cephalonian house”
GRADE: 5th and 6th Primary School grades
DURATION: 1 hour and 30'
DESCRIPTION: An educational walk around Argostoli, for the children to discover the traditional architectural features in pre-earthquake houses and identify them in modern structures.

SUBJECT: "Yesterday and today in the living room of my house”
GRADE: Kindergarten and 1st Primary School grade
DURATION: 1 hour and 30'
DESCRIPTION: The programme takes place in the Foundation’s Collections. In the living room (circa 1900) the children observe and compare the daily habits of a middle-class family in the past and today and perceive concepts such as museum, collection, collector, protection of the cultural heritage.

Childrens' Lending Library

During Workshop hours, the children may choose the book they wish to borrow, play table games and educational computer games, or consult the library staff about books relevant to their school classes.

During Christmas and Easter holidays, the Library organizes book readings for its younger members and several activities to motivate its elder members to read books.

The members at present have at their disposal about 1000 titles, three computers with internet connection (only available under stuff supervision), 45 educational cd-roms, and over 25 table games. The books and cd-roms are for children aged 5 and 14 years. Borrowing or using them is open to all children participating in the Workshop of Creative Activities.

Family Workshop

The Family Workshop runs twice a month, and offers a great opportunity for parents and children to spend two hours together in a creative way, learning to cooperate with each other harmoniously while making useful or decorative objects.

Adult Workshop

This workshop runs 4-5 times a year depending on the number of participants (minimum 5 persons). The choice of subject is based on the season and the skills and preferences of the participants.

Environmental Games at Cephalonia Botanica

• The tour of the Garden in 10 games (kindergarten)
• Our teacher, Nature (primary school)

The aim of these activities is to enable the children to: 

• Discover the complex world of plants through games and hands-on activities
• Learn in an entertaining way the great importance of plants and animals for humanity and its future
• Develop feelings of love and respect for the natural environment
• Adopt a responsible behaviour towards the natural environment and its preservation
• Come into contact with the flora of Cephalonia

The educational material used during these activities is designed so that, by the end of their visit to Cephalonia Botanica, the knowledge acquired by the children is a result of personal experience.

Apart from the great variety of subjects, allowing for two or three visits to the Garden during the same school year, the environmental activities are based on rapid alteration (each lasts for fifteen minutes) and flexibility- and they can be used as the basis for projects both outside and within the official school curriculum (e.g. Greek Language, Environmental Education).   Some of the subjects covered are: Young Botanists (herbs and plants of Cephalonia), Insects and Pollen, Code Name and Tissue (food chains), Survival (the cycle of life of a seed - a butterfly - water), Find its Pair – The Oldest – Meeting a Tree (trees - bushes – leaves), Wild Flowers, The Seasons, Weather, Geographic Orientation, Sounds/Colours (senses, memory, observation), Birds and Nests, Fairies and Elves (Greek fables, endangered species and local legends), Games and Waste Products (recycling), Animal Masks (endangered species) and so on.


The Educational Department organizes every year special programmes for children on the following occasions:

A. International Children's Book Day (April 2nd)

B. International Museum Day (May 18th).
These programmes are included in the programme of the Greek Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Participation in these special programmes is free of charge.


A new programme for children 6 to 12 years old was introduced in the summer of 2012, “Summer in Town”, running daily between 09.00 and 13.00 o’clock. The programme was based on:
• the creative and entertaining use of free time
• the offer of a rich variety of external stimulation
• the encouragement and training of the children’s expressive abilities
• the promotion and strengthening of cooperation and team spirit
The summer programme included visits to all of the Town’s museums, but also the National Park of Mt Aenos, Cephalonia Botanica etc.






Seminar on Native Wild Orchids
This was the third successful joint Seminar organised by Cephalonia Botanica and the Technical College of the Ionian Islands (TEI).  Once again, audience participation was large and active.  The scientific presentation of the subject was followed by a demonstration of in vitro propagation.  The participants visited Cephalonia Botanica for training in identifying various wild orchids.


Capparis ovata and Hypericum perforatum
"Conservation and Protection ex situ of the Native Greek Species Capparis ovata L and Hypericum perforatum L".
A presentation by Dr Theresia-Teresa Tzatzanis.
Cephalonia Botanica, 2 September 2015


Seminars on Mushrooms
Organized in conjunction with the Technical College of the Ionian Islands (TEI), the Seminars on Mushrooms were a great success, with the active participation of a large audience.  The Seminars offered a scientific overview of the subject as well as instruction on the cultivation and uses of mushrooms.  An outdoors exploration of the countryside, the in situ application of cultivation techniques, and a luncheon in Cephalonia Botanica with a variety of mushroom-based dishes were some of the highlights (10 and 11 May 2014, 1 and 2 November 2014).