DISCOVER GREEN PEDAGOGY
Why is contact with Nature so important?
What advantages does nature have?
Are trips to the country side enough then?
When was our link with nature severed?
It has been a gradual process in Western culture, it might have begun when, in classical Greece, the concept of culture was understood as opposed to that of nature, civilization opposed to savagery and the human being opposed to the animal (when in reality we are all animals, we are just a specific type, like all the rest)… The trend accelerated greatly with the industrial revolutions which have left a mark we call Anthropocene, at the geological level on the Earth’s surface. By simply adapting and transforming the environments for our well-being, we have begun to build increasingly artificial environments that keep us isolated and harm our physical and mental health. Consumerism is a way to fill a void, a substitute that helps us somewhat satisfy our basic human needs in roundabout and, ultimately, unsatisfactory ways. Some of the most important human needs are the feelings connection and belonging, but there is also the need for fresh air (have you ever wondered why we says we need “fresh” air when we want to go outside?), Movement, communication, expression creative … or the need for meaning, which is also part of our nature.
What is Green Pedagogy?
Green Pedagogy is a set of concepts, ideas and strategies to accompany human development by cultivating our innate bond of love for the Earth and all the beings that inhabit it. Heike Freire devised this concept in her first book, “Green Education”, drawing inspiration from the Swiss author Alice Miller, who speaks of white and black pedagogies, and other authors who have referred to red pedagogy. The color green is a metaphor, because the planet is of all colors (and much more blue than green). Heike Freire understands Nature in a broad sense, everything that has not been manufactured, that grows and develops by itself, that does not need a battery to move … It includes stones, water, fire, earth, air, vegetation, the animals (also the human animal that we are), in addition to bacteria, algae and fungi and much more.
What are the basic principles or ideas of Green Pedagogy?
How can schools favor contact with nature?
Can we learn anything and everything outdoors?
It has been proven repeatedly that Nature is the best means for a holistic development and healthy learning. In some countries such as Scotland, for example, the entire Infant, Primary and Secondary curriculum is being taken to natural spaces. We are also working outdoors with adults in various types of therapies for development and prevention. But, depending on the age of the participants,
the characteristics and the type of skills, we can combine indoor and outdoor spaces to great effect. Both are complementary in the learning process.