Curated by C. Bousquet, teacher of Spanish language and literature and expert in outdoor education.
In the natural habitat, the coexistence, in an ecosystem, of different species, animals and plants creates a balance, thanks to the mutual relations, and makes it possible for the biodiversity not to be affected.
The natural and human worlds do not respond to different laws, and they are also part of the same ecosystem, so even in human societies it would be useful to follow the same rules to preserve the species and human variety and guarantee the well-being of all individuals . Likewise, school communities should contribute to individual and collective well-being, stimulate healthy relationships and collaborations and ensure respect for and development of individual differences.
Whereas biodiversity, and therefore diversity is fundamental in nature for the survival of species, I have always wondered why Western man, even today, continues to respect neither the richness of ecosystems nor the socio-cultural of people and countries. In fact, traditions, languages, customs, architecture, fixtures, houses, etc. are all too often undervalued and homologated, causing a profound impoverishment of societies.
The reinforcement of diversity it is necessary and, for me, is directly connected with the discovery of personal quirks and talents. Once discovered and nurtured, they enrich their lives, the lives of their loved ones and also the community they belong to.
The Italian school, in terms of “diversity-disability”, has made great progress, but we cannot consider ourselves to have arrived.
To ensure respect for diversity, more could be done in the school; because, precisely in the name of the aforementioned “integration”, Often we end up not fully protecting the physical, cultural, religious, thought and gender differences, both in the students and in the teachers.
L’ the classroom they must be one protected place and non-violent, therefore also devoid of judgement, to increase personal and other people’s happiness and well-being, experiment, learn in a calm atmosphere, cooperate and weave healthy relationships. It should entice you to go through the trials and those errorinstead of punishing them as it is more useful to discover their talents and also put them to the service of the school, family and the town community. For these purposes, it would be desirable to offer education in schools CNV, non-violent communication, conceived by M. Rosenberg; also to help teachers and managers to reach a good relational maturity, through courses of emotional education and possibly also of theater.
These communicative and relational tools would greatly improve the quality of school interactions, teaching and learning processes for the youngest.
In fact, it is now known that in a harmonious and collaborative environment, e-students have a greater inclination to study and personal growth, and that even teachers benefit. (For further information on the subject, we recommend the studies by the professor at the University of Padua, Daniela Lucangeliand school experiment B 612, which she started in collaboration with a brave former DS on the outskirts of Padova).
School can become a space for listening and quality exchange, where empathy can also be increased.
As a high school teacher, I have always been aware of respect for diversity and to strengthen each student’s talents; with the aim of highlighting the benefits of diversity of thought, origin and gender. This has often stimulated curiosity, desire to learn, but also truer and deeper relationships. This atmosphere subsequently favored the development of empathetic listening and solidarity. Once we built healthy relationships in the classroom, we turned our attention to external contexts. In fact, questions arose spontaneously about how to interact with urban society, with the urban environment and also with the natural.
We asked ourselves how we can positively influence them, by offering personal knowledge and skills, to better preserve the common good and natural parks.
To raise awareness in school contexts and make them converge towards a human and ecological transition that MIUR hopes for in pillars in the Re-generation school (https://www. local.
In this way, the biophilia would slowly grow, once inherent in man, now almost absent, especially in those who live in the city.
By increasing the love and care for oneself, for others and for school and the common spaces of the cities, the desire to respect life in general and therefore also the Earth with all its creatures can manifest itself more spontaneously. connected, animal, plant and human!
The school should therefore focus again on some important social and environmental goals; above all to favor direct contact with nature and with the most disadvantaged people.
For me, it is a duty for the institutions, in fact today more than ever, to promote the healthy development of the individual and the protection of true culture and biodiversity. The gradual increase in the number of children is evident to those who work with minors physical discomfort and emotional in the students, but also in the school staff, and it would be necessary to start again from the school desks to counteract the general malaise of young people and also in the natural environment.
Why start over from nature is explained to us by some researchers:
Richard Louv (American educator, author of Last Child in the woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder), for example, reported a new disorder related to a deficit from nature.
If traditional medicine recognizes only a reduction in well-being, associated with less activities carried out in the open air, Louv instead traces in this deficiency many of the current problems related to premature depression, obesity and behavioral disorders of various types.
In Japan, as a preventive medicine, to avoid diseases caused by stress and techno-stress shirin-yokuit is the “forest bath” or the forest therapy.
If increased contact with the natural environment is therapeutic and necessary to regain psycho-physical balance, even that with animals has been recognized as an effective tool for the prevention and treatment of behavioral disorders. There Pet therapy it is actually in demand and used by many families for the care of their loved ones, especially the disabled and the elderly.
During the recent pandemic, the adoption of four-legged friends by many has greatly reduced the stress and discomfort caused by forced isolation and the near absence of human contact.
For many researchers, not just me, natural human biophilia should be further cultivated and enhanced to improve health, especially for people living in urban contexts.
In fact, the relationship between man and nature in many cities is almost completely broken and should be strengthened as soon as possible.
In the myths of the Selk’nam Indians, also called Ona, “the sea, the forests, and the stars are everything, and between these places the spirit continues to move after death. There is no word for God, and the possibility of the individual detaching from nature, is unthinkable.”
In order to strengthen the pact with life and with the environment in schools, it is necessary to intervene quickly to restore the balance of the disharmony that is more and more evident, both in adults and in children, causing obvious psycho-physical problems and often even forms of self-confidence. -damage.
It is essential to make the new generations more resilient and healthy that they can come into contact with nature more often and discover it not only through books, but also thanks to the presence of school gardens, forest therapy and outdoor activities in less polluted environments. It is also urgent to mature treatment to your own body and for the power supplyincrease the offer of physical activities in the institutes and distribute natural and zero km food (as required by MIUR).
In order to increase well-being, it would be necessary, in my opinion, to develop one deep ecologyquickly implement the proposed changes in recreated school and cultivate empathy and solidarity. Schools should therefore be renewed, but above all teachers and managers should be trained so that they acquire new skills, above all communicative and relational.
In addition to the funds allocated to the entire national territory, they should be hoped for improve the available facilities and equipment, to create a new school, to encourage outdoor educational practices, even creative ones, to insert, in all schools of order and degree, new disciplines and activities of various types, such as culinary, agricultural, musical, artistic and theatrical; as is already the case in some northern European countries, e.g. Finland.
It is necessary to make rapid changes in the school system in order to develop imagination, creativity, problem solving and divergent thinking, and to be able to face the great challenges of the future, including work and above all, the climatic ones, with greater serenity and awareness. .
Introduce service learningincrease cooperation with organizations and associations present in the area, with a social and environmental background; as is already happening in Nuestra escuela in Puerto Rico
(https://www.nuestraescuela.org/) could compensate for the lack of funds for social support and environmental protection.
With this article, I hope to request the necessary steps and actions to complete the human and ecological transition desired by the MIUR and the 2030 Agenda.
The pursuit of these goals and the renewal of the school would offer teaching-learning models and lifestyles that are healthier, more lasting and also more pleasant to share.
Tiziano Terzani affirmed that in order to rediscover the meaning, ‘today’s world needs rebels, spiritual rebels’, for me Italy needs to speed up the revolution of the school world so that the development of minors and future societies can be more and empathetic , and reconnect education with the sacred thread that connects us to life and the Earth, more than to the economy and outdated Western ideals, connected more to having than to being.