Forest Schools Support Learning Outside of the Educational Norm

Forest Schools have been popping up all over the world since their discovery in 1927 and as we continue on understanding the power and effects of our technologies, we see that the lessons taught in Forest School can ensure an ideal future by inhibiting a relationship with nature and other valuable ethics.

Often, Public schools pack about 25 kids into a classroom, sitting young people down for hours on end with a desk and a crammed curriculum until lunchtime. Every person has a different way of thinking and thus why we often see these lessons fall short of their expectations.

Forest Schools have been avoiding the normal conduct of a classroom so much that they strip themselves entirely of the four walls and desks. Teachers take students into a woodland environment where they give them free range to create and discover, which allows learners to not only achieve social and technical skills but also personal understanding. These unique educational standards may change the pass/fail rates, graduation successes and careers of future students.

In a normal classroom a teacher is restricted to an often overloaded schedule assigned to them. The time constraints they face do not allow teachers to set aside time to focus on one child. These teachers work so hard to see a difference but are forced to abide by a system that does not work for every student.

At a young and impressionable age, while struggling with problems, these kids often feel that they are just a number; amount of attendance, test scores and assignments. They cling to phones and tablets that make them feel like they have their own identity by gaining personal achievements on Facebook, Twitter and so on. What’s worse is that research has shown that the more human beings distance themselves from nature the more inclined they are to suffer from depression or other illnesses.

“Already, some research has shown that too much artificial stimulation and an existence spent in purely human environments may cause exhaustion and produce a loss of vitality and health (Katcher and Beck, 1987Stilgoe, 2001). Modern society, by its very essence, insulates people from outdoor environmental stimuli (Stilgoe, 2001) and regular contact with nature (Katcher and Beck, 1987).”
An excerpt from, “Healthy Nature, Healthy People

The dynamics of Forest Schools were created by early pioneers of the 20th Century. Of course spending time with nature was the beginning of our existence, but humans built on the platform that the earth created and distanced themselves from it by doing so. The actual establishment of Forest Schools were said to be in Forest County, Wisconsin by H.L. Russell, the Dean of The College of Agriculture at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

These schools teach not only names and classifications of species but also communication, team work and problem solving. Students gain confidence in their ability to manage the tasks at hand and resolve conflicts. Frequently, problems may be solved with mathematics. Forest Schools can cover all of the same subjects as the average classroom while also building discipline, patience, creativity, and more valuable skills that often get lost inside of an average school. We see all the time that budget cuts always threaten art and music classes first. These are classes that assess individuality and teach children to express themselves.

As we face risks of destroyed habitats, extinct species and global warming, it’s vital to raise younger generations to appreciate the great gift that our natural world is. Not only can they potentially save our future with a passion to see nature thrive but they may grow up happier and healthier as well.

Advertisements

What if?

what if.

What if when you die they ask, “How was Heaven?”

This blew me away. I have been struggling to find my gratitude this past week due to a series of misfortunate events. This blew my mind and put it back together with the correct mindset. Everyday is a gift. Our lives are ever wonderful holidays when we are grateful for the present.

I thought I would share. I hope this helps you as much as it did me.

x

Minds of Matter

Relephant Matters is composed of three categories: Relephant Wellness, Hearts that Matter and Minds of Matter. So far you’ve read articles on wellness including yoga and healthy meals, you’ve also read some articles on people who have made impacts on our world with their courageous compassion. Now we introduce Minds of Matter.

Minds of Matter will report on world news about discoveries that are predicted to change our world for the better. Some upcoming posts will include Solar Roadways, Bolivia’s “Law of Mother Earth” and Forest Schools. Feel free to comment about your ideas or topics you would like discussed! We want to spread awareness and inspiration to those of you who will one day be the future Benjamin Franklins and Maya Angelous.

Robin Williams

“If you listen real close you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – John Keating (Robin Williams), The Dead Poets Society, 1989 robin williams

Throughout Robin Williams’ life he has taught infinite lessons; living with intent and enjoyment not just on screen but in his common conversations and his life duties. Williams performed admirable acts of kindness for many, taking time from his day to visit with people battling cancer, donating to causes, and playing an important role at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Sometimes to feel a pain so deeply is a powerful consciousness awakening individual’s to the understanding that spreading joy is vital, perhaps it is exactly the reason why we are here. Over and over he welcomed us into the positive pieces of his perception and shielded us from his battles. Mrs. Doubtfire, Peter Pan, Genie, and so many more were all heroes just like the actor himself whom put the happiness of others before that of his own. To expose a heart so generous takes extreme bravery and for that, we as fans are grateful. His roles as a teacher, doctor, woman, and friend describe his incredible knack for empathy, to understand these roles and to feel as they do.

Robin Williams had a heart of a thousand characters and to lose such a talented man is a tragic loss to all. He taught us, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

“You know that place between sleep and awake? The place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I will always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I will be waiting.” – Tinkerbell to Peter Pan, Hook, 1991