Nature integrated learning: A holistic approach towards education
Nature is perfect in the way it leads the universe.
If you take a look a the NEP 2020, the most emphasised aspect of the policy is nature-integrated learning, which stresses the need to include nature in the curriculum to develop sensitivity to environmental issues. This is in tandem with the seventeen goal laid down by the United Nations, known as the UNSDG’s.
Long before the NEP 2020 as out, our school started green education as part of the curriculum. In fact, it was the first school to have done so. We started it expressing our solidarity with the United Nation’s goals of sustainable development. Now that the government of India too have laid own a policy, we have started with the right earnest for the new session. Among a few projects undertaken by our learners, the Seed to Table was a successful one in which learners planted seeds, nurtured them, and made breakfast with them, all in the school.
On 12 March 2021, learners filled lanters with soil and planted seeds and saplings which will create a green environment in a city surrounded by concrete. For the new session, we are starting a terrace garden, in which plants and herbs will be planted after consultation with learners. They will be a part of the planning team as it would lead to an understanding of nature and her impact on us.
Efforts are on to redesign delivery of lessons which will cultivate an attitude of respect for nature by creating awareness about the need for sustainable development. For example, a biology class may have learners study weeds and pests that attack plants. A possible enquiry could be made on how to protect the plants
without removing the weeds and killing the pests. This kind of enquiries and investigation will implant respect in minds of learners towards nature and everything in it. They will understand that pests and weeds are a part of nature and they too are needed for sustainable development.
The policy changes will definitely lead to a change in the coming years. It shows that we have finally accepted the need for sustainable development, if we want to leave a green planet for posterity. We have finally realised that we have rented the earth from our future generations, that we are not the owners. We need to give it back to them in the same state as we borrowed it from them.