L1 Conversing with Nature. Enlivening Observation and Thinking Through Plant Study
How can we learn to think and act in ways that are imbued with the vitality, dynamism, and interconnectedness that the natural world itself embodies? In this talk Craig will show how plants can become master teachers of living and dynamic thinking.
L2 Conversing with Nature ‘What’s Happened to the Second Terrace of Dunes on Clarke’s Beach?’
Place Awareness and Learning
Reflections made on an observational longitudinal study of the dunes at Clarkes Beach (Byron Bay). Gerard and Konrad will highlight the significance of outdoor learning. Working in place gives learning contextuality to children who, in the process of coming into possession of their bodies, wish to engage meaningfully with their environment, geographically, socially and culturally. Learning in place ensures an immersive interface with what Gardiner calls our multiple intelligences: kinesthetic, aesthetic, emotional, social, spiritual as well as the cognitive. These act as antidotes to much in our classroom education that is dissociative and dislocational.
Gerard Braithwaite and Konrad Korobacz
L3 Conversing with Nature: The Wisdom of the Animal World
Animals are highly integrated beings and reveal the nature of wholeness in a vivid way. Craig will discuss how we can learn to perceive and portray this wholeness in a way that brings the deeper nature of animals to expression. This entails holding back the urge to explain phenomena and working to build up in concrete imaginative thinking vivid pictures.
L4 Conversing with Nature: Developing understanding of our World through Phenomenology – learning, creating and deepening our Worldview.
We live in a time in which the wide-spread view of “science” hold that as Human Beings, we have a good understanding of how most things happen in the Cosmos. This view is not new, and is not held by many excellent scientists (who point to gravity and electromagnetism as examples of what we don’t know), however there seems to be a general view that “smart people know”. This is the way the sciences are taught in schools – concepts are generally presented and verified via experiment.
This turns the beauty and wonder of our World into the dust of dry formula and data.
Steiner wrote “Feeling is the means whereby, in the first instance, concepts gain concrete life.” (Philosophy of Freedom). This means bringing the phenomena of our world to life in our lessons and allowing each individual a personal relationship between their experience and the World. This is the creative concept forming act of learning, connecting ideas and developing knowledge. In approaching teaching and learning this way, we maintain freedom for truly creative thinking.
L5 The Real and the Hyperreal: What is Essential in Education Today?
The lives of children are increasingly mediated and influenced by devices. How does the focus of education need to shift in light of the dominance of technology-mediated experience? First-hand experience of real things and contexts becomes all the more essential to help children and young people find roots in the realities of the earth.
Download the conference program here