“Look deep into nature, and you will understand yourself better.”- Anonymous
Education is the pillar upon which the future of our world depends. India’s ancient system of Gurukula education is what modern schools are moving back toward as a more advantageous method of imparting knowledge.
The oldest schools were found nestled under open skies and amidst nature. Somewhere along the way, society moved to more closed off settings and in the process, denied children the ability to touch, walk, smell, climb, observe, and indeed take in the experience. The Puranik Foundation is one of the many schools that believe in a holistic approach to educating children.
Studying in an outdoor setting has many benefits, the most relevant one today is the notably reduced levels of stress observed among children who carry out all or part of their curriculum beyond the confines of a classroom. Studying outdoors has made a successful return in our lives today. More and more schools around the globe are taking to the fresh air and sunlight, with the singular objective of offering kids a more well-rounded education.
In nature, students have a chance to observe practical applications of their course work. The method of actual observation ensures that children retain what they are learning, better with a practical example rather than by theory alone. Logical tasks also become enhanced, as children can understand how things work, instead of merely learning about it in textbooks.
It is nourishing for students to explore the world freely! Children can learn to be more self-reliant, as they become spectators to science, math, inspire poetry and arts that can be observed in flora and fauna.
Additionally, it has been found that children exposed to nature are better aware of environmental changes. They learn to care for their surroundings, something that is a huge benefit for our future generations. Working in harmony with fellow students, embraced in nature, also builds a strong sense of community amongst kids from a young age.
It has become clear, through studying existing outdoor curriculums and their students, that new experiences can directly link to better memory – something which is crucial to give children a strong foundation for further academics. There was a time when academia, sadly, became focused on grades, and examinations. While the quantitative standard of education is an important measure, quality of a well-rounded education is equally important! The balance must be maintained.
At a developmental level, regular exposure to nature has garnered some great results for kids. Their overall communication skills are enhanced – growing in an environment where they are exposed to new things every day keeps them curious and adaptable. Further, high levels of interest that are cultivated through an outdoor curriculum also increase the concentration levels amongst children and enhances their motivation levels as well.
The world is rapidly changing, and knowledge is the new currency. In a time of constant evolution and change, there is a scope to look towards alternative methods of schooling, and propelling children to reach for their dreams, with the right skills and guidance.
|Written by Meghna from Pune, India|