Natural Education: Skills for Parents & Teachers

by Jesse Wolf Hardin on April 19th, 2012
2 CommentsComments

Introduction: I discovered the following writings of mine while sorting through my unfinished projects folder, along with dozens of incomplete essays, seeds of ideas, unpublished novels and outlines for projected books.  It’s bit sad to realize there are insufficient hours in a lifetime to bring these all to fruition, including this piece that I intended to expand into a book re-envisioning and re-orienting our entire approach to education.  While I can see much I’d like to add to or revise, the following brief work from 1988 perhaps remains in and of itself a useful wake up call to new/ancient ways of seeing, learning and passing on to others healthy earth-centered values and skills.  If you know any parents or teachers, please pass it on to them…

Natural Education:
Awareness & Reconnection Skills for Parents & Teachers

By Jesse Wolf Hardin

Anima School & Sanctuary

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
—H.G. Wells

“Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”
—Henry David Thoreau

The time has come for what I call Natural Education, the
initiating of every age group into a new/ancient way of perceiving and
thereby acting on the world. With so many species banished into
extinction each and every day, with hundreds of state and federal laws
passed every month to further restrict the freedoms of a mostly urban
human population due to double again in less than forty years, what I am
calling for is no less than the complete re-creation of human values,
perception, and society, and the entire educational system that
partially creates and fully sustains it.  We must challenge every
institution and assumption perpetuating the suicidal lemming-march of
the status quo.

Given the momentum of our distracted consumer society, and the
commiserate, entrenched ideology of school as “job training”
(preparation for conformity, consumption, and production), the task
falls largely on a few progressive teachers, the directors of
alternative schools, the facilitators of bold new Earth-centered
programs, and the intrepid practitioners of home schooling. In every
case, much of the onus lies with the parents and other significant
adults in the students’ circle of trust.

If you want to evaluate any existing or proposed text, class, program,
or curriculum, ask yourselves the following: Does it contribute
substantially to the students’ understanding of their true selves, the
full actualization and flowering of their authentic beings? Does it help
them to be quiet or expressive, thoughtful or sensual, subjective or
empathetic? Does it instill and encourage values that affirm freedom
with responsibility, compassion along with the ability to firmly say
“no”? Does it focus on some narrow dimension of humanity, or draw
parallels and connections to the land, lifeforms, and the anima/lifeforce/spirit? Does it
contribute to serendipity and play? Does it evoke a sense of the
sanctity of life, of the magic and joy of miraculous existence? Does it
teach them to feel, both the agony and ecstasy of one’s participation in
destiny?

Or, does it more likely, impress systems for memorization and
measurement, classification and definition, analysis and manipulation,
concepts without experience, the bloodless history of the victors,
material consumption and vicarious pleasures, sobriety and conformity?
Schools traditionally offer up a menu of facts with out personalizing
anecdotes, empirically explaining away the sources of wonder and awe,
replacing compassion and subjective identification with the “other” with
emotionless objectification, force feeding disconnected information in
ways that actually deadens the students’ inherent awareness of their
feelings, their immediate surroundings, and the still-wild world
existing outside the classroom, beneath the asphalt and concrete, and
the spreading city limits.

“A society that could heal the dismembered world would recognize the
inherent value of each person and of the plant, animal, and elemental
life that makes up tthe earth’s living body; it would offer real
protection, encourage free expression…. it’s underlying metaphor would
be mystery, the sense of wonder at all that is beyond us and around us,
at the forces that sustain our lives and the intricate complexity and
beauty of their dance.”

—Starhawk

We can change our distracted and destructive culture by actively interacting with teachers in
our schools, by infecting and subverting existing curriculums,
coming together to form legal clan and community schools, and by
customizing officially required subjects of home-school programs to draw
the necessary connections to self, Nature, and the historical
context they were born to participate in.

Under the auspices of whatever course or program, Natural Teaching
remains dedicated to instilling the following essential qualities and skills:
1) Awareness, Listening and Focus
2) Wonder and Awe
3) Authenticity and Personal Expression
4) Reconnection to body, others, other species, and the living Earth
5) Sense of Place
6) Ways of Seeing
7) The Art of Listening
8) Empathy and Compassion
9) Freedom With Responsibility
10) Integrity and Devotion

The Natural teacher demonstrates reverence and enthusiasm, a
willingness to share their pain, and a penchant for celebration. They
invite student participation, provoke reaction, inspire contemplation,
and stress the importance of inquiry over answers. Their vocabulary has
no choice but to evolve to match the age and attitudes of the students,
making use of symbols drawn from the culture each group is most familiar
with. They can reach people of all ages, academics and rural
libertarians by speaking the language of each, and tapping the almost
universal yearning for a more vital, realized existence.
The values of the Natural were often the values of our various
tribal, primal ancestors— values common to the first hundred thousand
years or more of human existence that can serve our return to
right-living and balance today. Some of these follow, along with values
that could only be learned by first inheriting and then destroying
paradise, priorities developed through mistake and travail.
At this time in human existence, what subjects matter (mater, mother) ?
The only relevant course may be “Nature.” “The Nature of Geography”—  a
lesson in ecosystems, watersheds, the personalities of desert and
mountain, filled with subjective stories about sense of place, exposing
the unreality of shifting political borders with a look at the unbroken
continents of this planet as seen from space— the geography of home.
Science becomes the “Science of Nature,” a study in the molecular,
chemical, evolutionary, interconnectedness of all life and so-called
non-life. Spinning and weaving, preparing food, dancing, mask-making,
and reading for reconnection. Campfire stories. Music that brings them
closer to nature, in resonance with their own musical natures. and
Mathematics? Math becomes the Play of Numbers, demonstrating how
quantities interact, and an opportunity to bring up the importance of
qualitative as well as quantitative measurement.

Then there are the fundamentals of natural teaching: Avoid the
linear and hierarchical appearance of straight rows, and sit in circles,
where students can interact with each other as well as the teacher. Take
the lessons outside whenever possible. Focus attention, usually with a
deep sharing. Use and elicit personal, emotional, experiential
anecdotes, such as how something made you feel, instead of just relaying
facts or events. Always refer back to the current moment, drawing a
connection between any subject and the students’ reality here in present
time. Ask questions instead of imposing information. Encourage instinct
and intuition, knowing that all important learning is a re-membering
(recalling, and reconnecting the parts). Impress the response-ability
(ability to respond) inherent in every idea, in what one does as well as
doesn’t do. Treat each and every moment as a decisive one.  Work towards students sharing
responsibility for the direction of the studies. Allow the interests and
enthusiasm of the students determine what gets explored, being ready to
set aside even the most important lesson to capitalize on the attention
given to a bird landing on the windowsill, on a personal problem that
arises, or a news event of great import. Surrender the schedule, staying
on a subject until interest subsides or something important comes up.
Let them see, touch, experience the things discussed as often as
possible, and get them to do as well as think. Demonstrate the relevancy
of an idea or process, then encourage the students to act it out. Make
use of art and song and role playing as well as words to fully express
your subject. Avoid dogma, but don’t be afraid to encourage students to
define what sacred means to them. Remember that every person, plant,
animal and place is a set of messages, and that our primary assignment
is to listen, and to teach how to listen. Remember to be grateful, and
make opportunities for the sincere expression of thanks. Share your
emotions as well as observations. Remember that many of the most
important lessons are best imparted through play.

For the youngest of my students I’ve developed a game of “Gaia,” in
which each child identifies with an organ of the Earth body and explains
how essential it is to the health of the whole; a game of role-playing
endangered species, and speaking for them in council; a game of ecstatic
evolution, where the kids act out the slow transformation of life forms
from single cell beings to fish, birds and land animals; one where they
identify the sometimes subtle differences between the natural and the
artificial; a game where they identify and describe the intrinsic value
of every element of Nature, regardless of any aesthetic or practical
purpose we might find for it; one where they determine what is special
about each and every element of Nature; and one where they learn to
express and celebrate the beauty and originality found in even the
plainest rock held in the hand, or the most mundane vista.

The fate of humanity, and of most higher lifeforms, will one day rest
in the hands of the children of today, adults of the future, dependent
on us for the heightened awareness and Earth-centered values that will
see them there.

Earth-Centered Education for the 21st Century

“We must remember the chemical connections between our cells and the
stars, between the beginning and now. We must remember and reactivate
the primal consciousness of oneness between all living things. We must
return to that time, in our genetic memory, in our dreams, when we were
one species born to live together on earth as her magic children.”

—Barbara Mor

Every social and environmental calamity, the entire destructive course
of modern civilization can be traced to a single root condition.
Overpopulation, habitat destruction, clearcuts, oil-tanker spills,
classism, sexism, war—all are symptoms of humanity’s essential dis-ease:
people’s cognitive (imagined) separation from their own essential
natures, separation from the spirits and processes of the natural world.
Given this frighteningly simple fact, is there really anything important
to teach the unfolding generation than the skills and arts of
reconnection? When the obvious cure for societal and planetary malaise
is our reconnection to our physical animal bodies, rather than living
through our minds alone, when it is a matter of reconnecting to the deep
feelings and essence of family and clan, to other cultures and races,
other lifeforms, and finally to the entire continuous body of the living
planet we’re an integral part of?

When we consider that both what we choose to teach and fail to impart,
and the responsibility that places on us, as parents and teachers, it
really sinks home that the coming generations could be the last with any
chance of reversing the anti-Nature direction of destructive
civilization. Just like one tends to weigh more carefully how they spend
their mortal moments when they realize they could be their last, we’re
likely to be more selective about the materials and lessons we share,
and more passionate in their presentation, if we treat each generation
as potentially the last. Approached in this way, we’re more likely to
pass on the life-affirming values that will make the survival of future
generations possible, and the survival of the elements of Nature that we
depend on to sustain and inform us.

Children are born into profound communion and continuity with/in the
world around them, immersed in sight and sensation, awash in the
intensity of the present moment, free of the weight of the past and
fears for the future. A young child’s experience of self extends beyond
the envelope of skin and into the objects it holds, the foods in its
mouth, and the earth and grass it crawls across. The concept of “others”
is impressed on them later, the early sensation of an organic oneness
surviving into adulthood like a repressed memory, or as some dimly
recalled dream.

Exposure to adult models, and to T.V. and school, leads to a gradual,
consensual “forgetting.” Year after year the child becomes increasingly
disassociated, thoughts from feelings, sentiment from action. The
experience of “self” is narrowed until housed entirely in the mind,
imaged somewhere inside the brain. The very process of becoming a
“civilized” human involves perceptual divorce, an imagined separation
between “self” and body, self and others, self and Nature.
Children before a certain age, like all the rest of living creation,
operate according to their original nature. This is why I say every
animal is an avatar, every child born a Buddha. The best students are
often the youngest, the ones who have forgotten the least, those still
obsessed with sensation, trying to put the whole world in their mouths
and know it that way. So much more difficult to get the teen to sit on
the ground outside, the adult to set aside its programming to hug a
tree. A child still takes the world personally, as if everything that
happens in the universe relates to them— as indeed it does. They take
the celebration of diverse life very personally. They also take
personally any abridgment of that joy, or the destruction of those other
lifeforms. It may be that the terminally ill remember what they knew as
kids, the simple truth that raw, unmanipulated life is good— that
anything that dilutes, debases, or destroys life is bad. How simple, and
how fundamental.

With teen and adult students, a pertinent education involves actively
suspending habit and disbelief, while with children we need only
encourage their native tendencies, their proclivity for wonder and awe,
and help direct their intense and naturally intimate reaching out to
connect.  We need to help the children with the skills and priorities
they’ll need to deal with the damaged world of their coming adulthood,
and then we need to teach the adults to experience the universe as
children again. When I first started doing this work I would engage kids
in role-playing endangered species, acting out the behavior of wolves
and wood ants, having them speak for the needs of eagles and trees. With
adults I’d explain the fine points of ecological ethics, give them the
facts on environmental destruction and the means for restoration and
redress. In time I figured out that the kids role play their empathy
with Nature with no help from us, and at a young age are interested in
hearing the whole story. Adults, particularly academics and bureaucrats
in uniforms, already have most of the facts, but don’t allow themselves
to empathize— which is why I usually get them to take off their ties,
get on the ground, and make like fish or squirming salmon! (C’mon, guys,
you can do it! Feel! Feel!)

Getting someone out to an ocean or forest is a start, but exposure to
the nature alone can’t guarantee any increased sensitivity. I’ve known
kids who have grown up in small towns adjacent to wilderness areas, who
grew up approaching Nature as a warehouse for them to loot, who see
animals as subservient and trees as commodities. Cowboys whose chosen
work has put them on horseback in the most beautiful country in the
West, will still toss their garbage on the ground when brought up to
honor only the works of “man.” Whether a young child’s innate reverence
lasts into adulthood or is replaced by cynicism and contempt for the
natural world will depend on how they’re taught to see. Not with the
eyes so much, as with the entire being, opening up to the spirit
animating all life from the heron in the wildlands marsh, to the
planter-bound flower. To the average preschooler with an inquisitive
mind and dancing, exploring hands, the world appears a magic place. From
the rainbow colors of a dew-jeweled spider web to the way that puppy
knows when you’re talking about him, they find everything simply
amazing, inexplicable, and primarily delightful. One of our tasks as
parents and teachers is to nourish their native way of “seeing,” to
direct their attention without diminishing their experience of the
miraculous.

Teaching How To Listen

“The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner.”
—Wendell Berry

It’s said that “a finger pointing at the moon is not the moon”. The
word “water” never quenched anyone’s thirst, and no description of light
and color could adequately convey the experience of sight to the
congenitally blind. At its worst, language results in a wash of constant
internal dialogue. thinking with words automatically places one outside
the moment, inevitably commenting in past tense on what just happened
and thereby missing the full contextual, sensual experience of the
present.  And worse yet, the sentences that fill up the center-stage of
our consciousness for most of our waking and dreaming hours project us
far into past events or future scenarios. All my adult years I’ve been
working on recovering from the split focus I developed watching T.V. as
I ate, barely tasting the food. The disassociation was exacerbated in
school, fed facts with no reference to my immediate life, with no
connections drawn between the different topics or the various courses of
study— millions of words, with little rhythm.

Ideally, the pointing finger of language draws attention to the deepest
experiencing/knowing of the moon, then withdraws to allow for the
profundity of silence. As music has demonstrated from angst-ridden
rappers back to African Griots and Celtic Bards, words are most powerful
when sequenced rhythmically. The students are easiest to reach when we
make the sentences and sentiments dance, varying the volume and tempo,
stressing the conclusions in a crescendo, then teasing the attention
back from the distracted with a refrain, a repeating phrase,— a play of
words.

The rhythms of speech are partly the result of natural breathing
patterns, slower during reflection, speeded-up by building excitement,
and for each breathing-out of words, we need to inhale in silence. A
drawing without empty spaces would amount to a page of solid black, ink
or lead. The identity of any line on the paper is shaped by the white
space around it. In drumming circles, the power of the patterns depend
on the empty spaces between the beats. Without these intervals of
silence, all one would hear would be a solid wall of noise.
And just as students listen and absorb meaning better when the language
finds its rhythm, they can better ponder and absorb each full concept
with a comparable period of silence after. The youngest children tend to
mainly think in symbols rather than in sentences— and pictures are
always O.K. It’s the omnipresent dialogue, internal as well as audible,
that must be regularly set aside in favor of sensation and
contemplation, inhalation and inspiration. In favor of full-body
listening.

For short periods of time, one can create silence with an unexpected
noise or outburst, with a surprising observation, by setting up a
situation of unnerving uncertainty, or drawing their attention to strong
physical stimuli (a cold wind, something soft to touch). For “silence
work”, the younger the students, the smaller the group needs to be. Try
keeping them in the usual circle formation, but face them outwards. And
follow each quieting with an opportunity for its appropriate
punctuation: expression.



Responsibility Within The Web: Awareness Work

“It was the sort of idea that might easily decondition the more
unsettled minds among the higher casts—make them lose their faith in
happiness as the Sovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the
goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere;
that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well being, but some
intensification of consciousness.”

—-Aldous Huxley

Contemporary institutional education not only ignores but works against
awareness. I’m not talking about higher awareness of energy patterns or
being conscious of Spirit, but that elemental quality of awakeness, the
awareness of one’s immediate environment. Abstract texts have students
reading about insect classifications, and missing the flight of the
butterflies just outside the window. Schedules further reduce one’s
need, and thus ability to take in their situation and make independent
decisions, or make a sudden change in course. I’ve camped with
university graduates lacking all the skills and traits necessary for
survival in the natural world. More significant than their inability to
identify and gather wild foods, weave fibers, or even get a fire going
with a match— was their complete lack of awareness of their
surroundings. Residents of their minds, they neither saw or could react
to the presence of trees too close to their selected fire pit, had no
concept of fouling their own water source, and were likely to step on a
snake if there long enough.

Awareness training involves always bringing the subject, and in this
way the students’ attention, back to themselves, to the present, and to
the reality of the immediate situation. Draw from those things
physically around you as metaphors for whatever concepts you are trying
to impart, such as “…death cycling back into life, like this garden”
or “…like the sun, touching your faces right now.”  No matter how
distant or historic the lesson, it can always be made real for the
students by asking them to imagine and share with you how it may have
affected them and the world they live in. One of the most important
questions for any age student is, “How does that make you feel?”
Awareness can be tested by asking: How many different sounds can you
distinguish right now? How do you think what you said made that person
feel? I know you’re indoors, but who can point in the direction the sun
will go down? What color shirt did your last instructor wear?” I worry
about a spectrum of students adept at equations but oblivious to
everything around them. Whenever I leave this canyon to visit friends I
can’t sleep because every passing car seems to be coming to see me,
every siren means I should run, and I jump every time I hear the
refrigerator clang on. I worry about friends who no longer hear their
fridge going on and off, and wonder if they hear the wind moving through
the pruned and shaped trees of their yards. We are becoming a people who
experience our precious mortalities vicariously, living our lives wholly
in a conceptual world, an unreal world of our own making.
We’ve got to bring them back, at least the young, back to their selves,
back to the Earth, back home where they’re needed— where they can be
themselves.

Sense Of Place

We know that the entire globe is an extension of us, but we are
centered on a certain continent, on a particular watershed, and at the
exact spot where our bodies touch the ground. I often begin a circle by
having everyone focus on the feelings of connectedness and energy
transfer that goes on between the feet and the ground, or sitting, how
it feels to be physically bound to the living planet. How that feels, is
what we really mean by “sense of place”, sensing our connection,
developing loyalty to the actual physical substance of that place, and
drawing our strength from there. Ever so slowly, we can take them from
there into larger concentric circles, into a larger sense of place.
Beginning with their yard, their favorite tree, their secret hideaway,
and then maybe a big enough “sense” to encompass a secluded trout stream
or a faraway vacation beach where strange creatures perform impossible
ballets. If possible, the progression should never be presented in a
single day, time taken for the most thorough and intimate familiarizing,
coming to know and be able to speak for the needs and design, the
personalities of one’s always unique, hopefully expanding identification
with place.

There are two complimentary approaches. In one, we keep calling the
students’ attention back to the actual place where we’re teaching them,
and in the other, we call on them to develop irrevocable bonds with one
or more ”special places” they’ve come to love and learn from. One of
these special places could be adopted by the group or class, with them
learning the requirements of the land and its lifeforms. The place can
be undeveloped wildness in need of sponsorship and defense, a ravaged
area requiring restoration, or an overgrown urban oasis re-wilding on
its own accord. determined to supply the setting for our exploration of
life.

Initial Reconnection

“If you want the kernel you must break the shell. And therefore if you
want to discover nature’s nakedness you must destroy its symbols, and
the farther you get in the nearer you come to its essence. When you come
to the One that gathers all things up into itself, there you must stay.”

—Meister Eckhart

The older the students, the more crucial the reconnection phase,
beginning with the body. Our work for the Earth or for others is at its
best when we exist fully within our bodies, healing them as necessary.
For adults with racing minds, I suggest swims, mantras that derail
dialogue, arduous hikes that exhaust the part of the self that thinks,
swimming, bathing, singing or drumming, and overcoming their resistance
to touching themselves, rubbing their own sore necks, stroking their own
hair just because it feels good. And for students of any age, I help
them feel the world through their bodies. Beginning…with the sensation
of their own heart beating.

Like we block out the sounds of screeching tires in the night and other
audible reminders of our mortality, many of us learn not to hear the
pounding in our ears, the vital rushing of blood through our veins. But
there it s, whenever we quiet our distracted minds enough to listen, the
rhythmic evidence of life, in synch with the pulse of the living Earth.
Next, I might draw the students’ attention to their breathing, the feel
of muscles that must continually pump fresh air in and exhausted air
back out, the sensation of the wind rushing in and out through our
welcoming nostrils. I may have them close their eyes, shutting down the
main process through which people gather most of their sensory
information. Taking in deep, slow breaths together, the individual’s
consciousness opens up to encompass everything around it, primed for
subtle input.

With children, I might isolate each of their senses in turn, letting
them explore a meadow and some purposefully planted objects with nothing
but their sense of smell, or coming to know them through touch alone. I
think about Helen Keller, and how the curtailment of audio and visual
input resulted in a heightening of every other faculty, as the students
smell aromas like never before, and trace the hills and valleys of a
rock with eager, informed fingers. When the moment is just right, they
may access their untapped instincts as well, as those means of
body-seeing we sometimes call “extrasensory perception”. Fully in-body,
with all the physical senses engaged, one exists at their optimal state,
more receptive than ever, and better prepared to act.
It’s through our resulting acts that we experience and develop our
connection to others, extend the borders around our “self” to include
not only our parents and siblings, but friends, and then the nice old
woman who tells stories as she sweeps the sidewalk, then the unnamed
victims of distant tragedies, and potentially the overpopulating masses
of every race. Once connecting to other people, ready to experience
their deep ecological and psycho-spiritual relationship to other species
as well.

Connecting to Other Lifeforms

“A world in which every place is wilderness — this ecotopian vision
seems remote from the environmental politics of our day, mystical,
atavistic, even threatening. And yet the human race was born into such a
world. It was our home for uncounted millennia. It is still the world of
dwindling primal people. It is where we learned the values of community,
art, creativity, curiosity. That we should be more comfortable now with
the artificial industrial landscape of modern times, with its
imperatives of competition, exploitation, and selfish consumption,
suggests how successful civilization has been in demonizing Nature.”

—Christoph Manes

The natural world is our original context. We evolved in a physical and
then conscious interdependency with the rest of life. Our intuition was
honed in the primeval jungles, and our dreams are still made up of the
images and symbols we brought with us when we first stepped out into the
open. There really is such a thing as a “natural self”, formed over the
course of hundreds of thousands of years in close association with the
expressions and processes of Nature, with the diverse nation of plants,
the “birds and the beasts”. The entire living world is a set of
messages, instructions, and examples. All of life is trying its best to
communicate with us. Children are quick to notice the signals, but can
benefit from interpretation. Teens and adults tend to need help with
both recognition and significance.  All can be
helped to recognize the traits they share with other lifeforms, and the
way animal spirits or “totems” influence or symbolize influences on how
they respond to the world.

Reconnecting With Gaia

We can visualize our broadening sense of identification as a set of
spreading concentric rings like those made in water when we toss a
pebble in. In this way, the outermost circle of our being stretches to
take in the whole of the planet, the entirety of our greater Earth-body.
Oddly enough, we do this by moving slower, not faster; looking closer,
not further. Moving slow enough to see the “miracle in a grain of sand”.
To show students the “bigger picture”, start them on the giving ground,
their faces pressed down to the grass for the bugs’ eye view. Once
they’re more familiar with the magic of the microcosm, they can better
access the streams and meadows, better take in the grand vistas.
“Gaia” was the Greek name for the Earth as living being, daughter of
Chaos. The scientists Lynn Marguellis
and James Lovelock seized on the metaphor to illustrate their premise
that the Earth functions as a living entity, a body of self-regulating
systems dependent on the balanced interaction of all its constituent
parts, the atmosphere its breath, the cleansing forests its lungs. They
called this notion the “Gaia Hypothesis,” as if the truths honored by
virtually every primal culture, by our ancestors of nearly every race,
and by all children before the age of their disenchantment— as if the
truth of an inspirited planet, sacred, indivisible and directed were
merely theory, the invention or conclusion of modern minds! Before the
advent of technology, before toxic agribusiness and skyscrapers, these
were the truths we held “self-evident”:

Conclusion

We are not secular pilots of a dead Spaceship-Earth, nor have we been
sentenced by God to a trial period on a disrupted Eden. We are blessed
participants in the dance of embodied spirit. Singers. Dreamers. Praise
givers.  Natural Education inspires and invokes awareness,
reconnection and response. It offers everyone, the teachers and
parents as much as the kids, an opportunity for a Rite-of-Passage.

In Natural Education, we plant our seeds in earth and heart,
regardless of the chances of fruit. The immediate result, as I’ve
witnessed again and again, is the glad unfolding of the miraculous.
Nature-informed Education is, above all, life-affirming. It explores diversity
rather than imposing conformity. It offers the tools for global healing and the
individual skills to survive.  Natural Education is called upon to
affirm, at the deepest levels, the singular joy of being alive, while imparting the information and tools to live our lives and purpose fully and effectively.

(RePost and Share Freely)


Categories: Uncategorized

Comments

Feed
Trackback URL

  • Camille

    Thank you, Jesse. This is so beautiful and comes to my family in such a timely, cosmic manner. Just a few days ago, as my daughter sat inside her public school, our yard was covered in beautiful butterflies. I was jumping up and down with glee and wishing she were there to share the experience, learn more about them. I don’t want to have to wish for those things. Been doing lots of mind time thinking about making changes around here as far as my daughters’ education and this is absolutely in line. This is inspiration. I will pass it on to other parents. Thank you!

  • I very much appreciate hearing this, Camille. I am so glad the essay was revived and is doing the good work of affirming what matters most for a child’s true well being… and simultaneously for our own.

    I do not always know what good my various writings do, planting them like seeds I do not if grow or not. How great for this “field report” from you, that one has taken root for you.

    Best wishes,
    Jesse Wolf

Leave Comment

Commenting Options

Alternatively, you can create an avatar that will appear whenever you leave a comment on a Gravatar-enabled blog.

Current month ye@r day *