Young minds are untarnished and malleable, they follow wherever we lead them. They are our biggest hope and potential risk as well. If they are taught in the same manner as we were, the results will be morally, socially, economically and environmentally worse. For we grew up in a society that settled itself away from nature, whereas every answer to sustainable living lies within it.
Hence it isn’t difficult to arrive at a common solution to our global problems, which is to take these young minds back to nature. While many are still contemplating on its cons, John and Cythia Hardy have already setup a remarkable model – Green School.
“We owe it to our children to give them the skills to adapt. Now more than ever.”
Planting the seeds of biophilia early in the lives of young ones, Hardys have initiated a refreshing education system which is targeting inculcation of sustainable living as a habit in children. They believe that individually experiencing the ecosystem and coexistence is as vital as gaining scientific knowledge about it.
Ability to adapt is considered as a fundamental life lesson by them, which they are ensuring to instill in their learners. Above all they state that education needs to adapt to the changing world, its concerns, its assets, its liabilities and everything in between. This adaptation builds resilience in the education system, which is linked to their idea of Bend like Bamboo.
The school doesn’t follow a preset curriculum, rather they believe in keeping the learning process real and they proudly call it the Green School Way.
Green studies is their research branch, where they test various theories under real time conditions.
“We endeavour to teach students to ‘learn how to learn’. Our way is not to fill a bucket, but rather light a fire.”
One of their popular idea is diverting the egocentric minds of young learners, which they believe is an innate character of humans, to that of a Biocentric Child. This they explain as a quality of acceptance and valuing of other lives that coexist with humans on earth.
Open classrooms sheltered under expressive bamboo structure are easily adapting to the local culture and climate of Bali. The school site has recently become a net zero development, by going completely off grid and dumping zero waste to the landfills. Many innovative strategies have been also incorporated to reduce carbon footprint of the teaching methods.
Where Bali was the testing ground of Green School idea, green schools at New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico are welcoming bigger change. These other setups are replicated inline to local adaptations and are responsibly shaping many more minds through sustainable learning. The school also shares insight articles on their website, which reflect school’s value system and readers are encouraged to give these brilliant ideas a wholesome read.
Below we have shared TED talk by John Hardy in 2010, only 2 years into functioning of Green School at Bali, since which their positive impact has grown by leaps and bounds.
Featured image is by Green School