Nature Based integrated learning (NBIL)
While we have taken so easily to Technology, it may be even better for us to connect with our roots (Mother Nature) to change our fruits (survival outcomes) now.
Nature based integrated learning is a fairly new term, but the concept by itself goes back for over a few thousand years in ancient India – namely the Gurukula System.
This concept has two parts to it – Integrated Learning and Natural Learning
Integrated Learning is an Umbrella term and has different connotations at different ages of the learner. It begins with subject integration and goes up to intra-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning and their application in real time.
Natural Learning has two components –
- Natural learning as per the learner ie; the learning style that comes naturally to the learner.
- Nature based learning comprising of –
- Learning IN Nature – Learning in a natural environment like a park (or forest),
- Learning FROM Nature – Learning concepts and their applications directly from Nature
- Learning FOR Nature – Learning with the intent of conserving nature since the foundations of the first two steps are engrained concretely in us.
One may feel overwhelmed with all these terms, but the whole process actually makes learning and teaching much simpler, more experiential and a lot more fun as well.
Nature based integrated learning is also inclusive. This type of learning and teaching can be applied to all types of learners, including ones that have learning difficulties and disabilities. This type of learning is so universal, it can be taught to children up to 8 years, tweens, teens and adults equally.
The new National Education Policy, 2020, talks about integrated learning and multidisciplinary learning for a new era ie; post COVID times. While we have taken so easily to Technology, it may be even better for us to connect with our roots (Mother Nature) to change our fruits (survival outcomes) now.
For more on NBIL, feel free to contact me on email@example.com.
On Nature and Education
As a teacher in a Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI) school, I firmly believe that the key to holistic education lies in one’s relationship with nature.
The current education system across the country, and globally, revolves around preparing the child for a set of standardised exams in order to continue to perpetrate a cycle of competition. Is this truly education?
As Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “If one really loved the Earth, there would be frugality in using the things of the Earth…To live in harmony with nature brings about a different world”. The basis of our existence lies in our relationship with nature. It is through a direct and sustained connect with nature, that one can truly teach as well as learn the nuances of science, morality, and true art. The need of the hour is to engage closely with nature, to understand how closely connected we all are, as humans, and to pursue the service of conserving the bounty of knowledge that has been handed to us to learn from and not exploit.
The biggest lesson I have learnt through nature is that everyone, naturally, sees the world differently. There is no one child who has the right answers, each child needs to be heard differently, for each one brings to this world a new perspective. We require an education system that accords each child their own space, one that revolves around our connection with nature. It is not the planet we must shape; it is our children, for a generation that is kind and compassionate to the Earth will automatically lead to a harmonious future and a better planet.
As Maria Montessori said: “The stars, stones, life of all kinds, form a whole relation to each other and so close is this relationship that we cannot understand a stone without some understanding of the great sun.”
Know Your Bannerghatta Webinar Series
Through August and September 2020, Bangaloreans4Bannerghatta organised a webinar series called ‘Know Your Bannerghatta’ in which prominent environmentalists discussed what Bangaloreans can do for wildlife conservation in and around Bannerghatta National Park. The links to the webinars are given below.