The Forest Classroom

April 7, 2014

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Chris Holland is a environmental educator based in the UK. His book I Love My World is an exploration of creative activities for children to pursue in the context of forest schools.

Forest schools promote ecological learning, integrating bushcraft, environmental awareness, teamwork and personal development. Children are encouraged to make fires without matches, to identify edible plants, to carve wood, to build shelters and to collaborate on learning survival skills within forest school outdoor classrooms.

In Ireland Earth Force Education (www.earthforceeducation.com) is delivering forest school experiences to children in the context of school holiday camps, and offering training to adults interested in becoming forest school teachers. Children become exposed not only to natural habitats and changing weather conditions, but the capabilities and strengths they have within. Forest school learning is not segmented, but flows through a course of activities that teach each child how to live in relationship to the natural world.

Forest schools are an art form in themselves, creating camp like classrooms with shelters interwoven with branches and integrating features of the landscape. Environmental educations is not a subject, but a way of living, a beckoning into science, folklore, seasonal traditions, and storytelling. Chris Holland’s Forest School training includes “nature awareness, ways of making fire by friction, shelter making, knife, axe and pruning saw use, tracking, woodland bling and garden jewelery, wild food and wild medicine, campfire cookery, coppicing and rural skills as well as some storytelling activities for would-be storytellers” (Chris Holland, Wholeland Website http://www.wholeland.org.uk/for-training).

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A Photo of Chris Holland with his book I Love My World.

 

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