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Counting what counts

There's a small group of biodiversity specialists, friends and collaborators who meet occasionally in Wales to discuss ways of germinating a little more sanity in this mad world. I recently asked them to mull over a few questions about priorities for education, government and change - their responses are below:

Making the Outdoors Everyday
Our proposal is that every child gets an experience of nature every day as part of normal, everyday educational practice. Our underlying assumption is that through being allowed and encouraged to be outside on an every day / everyday basis, Wales would grow generations of people for who knew  through lived experience that biodiversity is important (just as we currently "know" that economics is important... even if we are not experts in exactly how economic systems operate). We think there would be multiple immediate benefits from this, ranging from greater levels of physical activity, through to eco-therapeutic effects, ecosystemic knowing and cultivating a broader context from and through which we are informed and make decisions.

We would push it further and say that ALL education in Wales, irrespective of subject, age or stage needs to include learning outdoors on a daily basis in ways that are fun, enjoyable and deeply experiential. This means including teachers and educators, NGOs, police (and challenging the perceptions of young people outdoors are a nuisance). We believe that this movement is necessarily transdisciplinary and that it landowners, farmers, gardeners, biologists and so on. We believe that this movement is necessarily transdisciplinary and that it gets to the heart of the matter of us as a species being a part of the natural world and not apart from it.

In terms of the Sustainability Innovation event, we would like to challenge young participants to come up with the implications of this movement relative to the three themes of waste, travel and food. We want to hear from young people themselves what their imaginations tell them about all the ways kids and be and learn outside every day.

In terms of the PhD students, we want to see large scale longitudinal research into making the outdoors everyday. We also want to see appreciative inquiry examples of where this work is already being done
well in Wales and across the world.

In terms of the WAG projects, that could seek to embed practical innovation for sustainability into the everyday curriculm, we ask: why wouldn't you want this? And how will WAG use it's collective imagination to make a move on this front.

Game on.



Reader Comments (1)

Reading this made me think of a story told by Satish Kumar about the root of the word 'eco' from the Greek 'oikos' which means home – a place of relationships between all forms of life. 'Logos' meaning the knowledge of our home and 'Nomos' meaning management of that home

Economy = managing the home/planet
Ecology = knowledge of the home/planet

How much hubris is needed to manage without knowledge?

How do generations of people know more football players and celebrities than they do trees, plants, animals, foods?? What kind of society is this?

We all need to become ecoliterate! The best thing about this challenge is that it will be healthy and fun to learn and ultimately very useful and practical.

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGordon

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