What does it mean to re-wild people?Start with their education

The founders of Rewilding Education, a community of teachers who believe that the UK’s education system is becoming more like monoculture farming and that reconnecting children naturally is the key to helping them prosper. say.

Wolves and lynx roaming the land. A vast forest has been restored – left alone for prosperity, not for timber. Wildflower-filled fields – these are one of the endorsed ideas as part of rewilding. This is a progressive approach to conservation, reducing human intervention in landscapes and ecosystems and instead supporting the restoration of natural processes. And it has been gaining momentum in recent years.

Efforts to replace lost and disappearing seeds – whether it is Elk, bear, also Mangrove forest – Through rewilding, for example, we have strengthened our gear. in the meantime, Large-scale 3,000-acre nature restoration project Recently announced in the highlands of England. One startup It may even return nature to the burial ground.

But now, the re-wild approach is planting itself beyond the natural world. Since the 1950s, we have been separated from nature. Researcher confirmed.. But what if reassigning the “wild” process was an approach that could prosper not only the ecosystem but also the people? In fact, what if our education system went through the process of rewilding?

That is what the founder of Re-wilding education – A small ambitious organization established during the blockade last year – has embarked on a discovery.

Rewilding Education wants to help children reconnect with nature. Image: Vitolda Klein

“There is something in rewilding that fits very beautifully into education,” says co-founder Dr. Max Hope. She believes that the current education system is highly structured and does not benefit everyone equally. “Therefore, rewilding in this context brings more creativity, freedom, flexibility, and more humanity. We want to improve education, and better. By doing so, we are talking about fairer, healthier, and wilder things. “

This can mean incorporating nature into mainstream lesson planning, for example through additional lessons or by playing outside of school.

Rowan Salim used to work as a teacher in London, but now runs a nature-based children’s community and community garden called Free We Grow. She says rewildered education is a better way to connect children with the world around them. They are given the freedom to guide themselves and are allowed to obey their curiosity.

There’s something about rewilding that really fits education

“We are looking for children who are happy, well-learned, trust in themselves and their instincts, and can pursue their interests,” she says. And for Salim, spending time in nature is the key.

According to Salim, one practical example is when he took his children to see the Thames for the first time. “”[They] I was able to answer geographical questions about what a river is, but I never felt it, smelled it, felt it, or cared for it. [one], “She says.” Three [was] Disconnection from the world around them. “

Similarly Free We Grow, Salim encourages children to get to know and love the local forests. When one of the trees had to be cut down, the children protested and wrote to the local council. “This opened up a dialogue to improve habitat, including the idea of ​​planting a native oak tree in the area,” she says.

Forest school

Rowan Salim with Luca, a participant in Free We Grow.Image: Re-wild education

Rewilding Education offers an educator program consisting of a 5-day immersive wilderness camp, regular Zoom calls, training manuals, mentoring, and resource resources. Participants are also encouraged to connect with their “inner wild self,” in other words, their genuine, playful, curious nature and become part of a like-minded community.

“Re-wild people and systems are balanced,” says Salim. She explains that she is the one who can better connect with nature and other people because she is in contact with their real self.

I agree with your wishes. “It’s about being able to be genuine, which leads to self-acceptance and self-esteem,” she says. “And if you feel it yourself, you can extend it to others-whether it’s a tree, a water vole, a cat, or a dog.”

Throughout the program, participants discuss and explore what rewildered education looks like. Hope gives an example of a particular question along these lines. “From an ecological point of view, there is a lot of talk about the reintroduction of species such as wolves and beavers,” she says.Impact of [these species] Dramatic and widespread.When this is translated into education, for example, freedom, trust, and equality [similarly ‘reintroduced’ as central values underpinning] Our education system? What will the impact be? “


A letter written by the children of Free We Grow to the council

The program culminates in a five-day camp consisting of discussions, play, spending time in nature, and sharing stories and gifts such as music and books. Educators are encouraged to go back and incorporate what they discover into their educational practices.

“We encourage people to travel,” says Dr. Dan Ford, who co-founded the program with Hope. “It’s an adventure. And while there is a guided process and the intent is serious, being together is often very playful.”

The community will continue to support each other after the program is over. “It’s a starting point for many,” says Ford.

Participate in the Rewilding Educators program
Sign up for the October cohort now
Click here for details

So what does the re-wild generation really look like?

“This is a difficult question to answer,” Hope admits. “We don’t want to enhance traditional methods of measuring the effectiveness and success of education, for example, suggesting better grades or improved behavior.”

Rather, the pair explains that people who are ultimately part of the rewildered generation are less prone to self-destruction, healthy, confident, and safe. That way, they are less likely to destroy the planet.

“We want our community to be like a reintroduction of missing species,” says Ford.

NS The Rewilding Educators Program – a guided adventure that rewilders itself and creates healthy and prosperous educational practices – runs from October 2021 to May 2022 and is open to educators of all kinds.Check details and register here..

Main image: Merit Thomas

What does it mean to re-wild people?Start with their education

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