PBC (Permacultura and Bioconstruction for Children)
What an exciting weekend we had at the Ecocentre! Thirty children aged from 2 to 13 years lived with their parents for three days in the Villa and participated in lots of permy activities. Activities ranged from feeding the chickens, pigs and geese to making beetroot and pumpkin bread, stomping on mud to make adobe bricks and cob and creating worm farms and solar ovens.
At night we watched Nemo swimming through the giant dome, sat by the bonfire watching Laila twirling her poi to the kids chanting “more, more, more”. It was a very awarding weekend. It brings home that children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.
Yet statistics around the globe show that there is a decline in young people interested in science and the environment. As sustainability educators we have a serious job in front of us. There are ample descriptions why students are closing off to the environment, such as the pedagogy of transmission of knowledge from the teacher or the textbook to the students; about content that is irrelevant and boring to our lives; and difficult to learn in comparison to other subjects.
Courses, such as the mini PBC for kids connects them to science and the environment in a dynamic and colourful way. This course demonstrates the revelance of science and the environment to their lives. The activities are practical and fun and able to be transfered to the classroom without a problem. So what is the problem?
Hain Ginott once said, ” I’ve come to the conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I posses a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool or torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal in all situations. It is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”
Enthusiastic knowledgeable and skilled educator´s can motivate students’ interest in the environement It was just a quarter of a century ago that education was described by Schumacher as the ‘greatest resource’ for achieving a just society. And as educators we need to get onto it! In a global nation we are able to encourage consciousness raising in society as a process of helping people especially children to recognize solutions for a sustainable future.
by Lucia Legan – Author of Sua Escola Sustentável and Criando Habitats na Sua Escola Sustentável