The Educational Value of Nature

 

In the last few weeks, we have taken individuals of all ages to farms exposing them to fresh produce, compost pits, bio-solutions, role of cow dung, insects, farming activities etc. We see direct connections that individuals make with the cycle of soil-plant-pollination-fruit-soil. We observe shy individuals exclaim with wonder at farm-fresh, enthusiasts remembering healing herbs used years ago, veggies and greens being remembered as a regular consumption at some point, wonderment of vermicompost heaps that produce enormous sized pumpkins, the bee-pollination relationship and more.  Connections and relevant learning is made and the number of questions that come pouring in to our delight testifies our belief in the relevance of educational farm visits. More than anything we need nature to grow, learn in the right way for our own balance.

For growing minds an outdoor experience is a direct connect to the on-going learning happening in classrooms. With an exposure to the real thing we give a practical learning which is hands-on and fun, a big benefit for both schools and children adding a third dimensional learning curve through sensory understanding. We also find that problem solving skills, creativity, social engagement involving games increases with groups working together as strategic team players. Families bond and learn together, seasonal fruits and native varieties are registered with plucking and tasting, climbing trees, swinging off banyan tree roots and traditional games breaks the ice and builds stronger relationships in front of us.

With huge disconnects to the natural world apparent, a chance to rekindle and reconnect individuals to themselves and understand the role of the natural world in growing food supplement positives in mind and body . Nature restores natural functions, what current lifestyles, work, traffic stress and man-made environments in cities have made us loose, nature helps in getting back. Attention Restoration Theory is attributed as the power of the natural world to school children and adults alike in buzzing metros in the country. In the same way, the healing powers of soil and microbes goes a long way emoting happy emotions, feelings aka a major de-stressor.

For educators its an equal learning as well. Questions and doubts make experts question their methods, ways and add fresher perspective in curation and knowledge sharing. Its a mutual learning especially when you interact with people from different backgrounds especially schools, families and working professionals.

Video by A Green Venture on farm visit education

References

The Atlantic, The Educator, Benefits of connecting children to nature, Growing Minds, Natura Pacific, Project Learning Tree, Positive Psychology program, UK Guardian Green Schools

 

 

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