United Nations 2016 Dialogues on Harmony With Nature

The Bureau of the Harmony with Nature Initiative of the United Nations, in New York, organize the United Nations 2016 Dialogues on Harmony With Nature, asking Statements to worldwide specialists in :

  • Earth-centered Law
  • Holistic Science (includes Biology ; Chemistry ; Cosmovisions ; Physics ; Geology ; Geography ; Holistic Food Systems which include Water and Fisheries ; and, Holistic Medicine)
  • Ecological Economics
  • Philosophy/Ethics, Theology/Spirituality
  • The Arts, Media, Design and Architecture
  • Humanities (includes : Anthropology, Linguistics, Psychology, and Sociology)
  • and last but not least, Education.

Mr Thomas EGLI is one of the 8 members who was selected for this annual exercice.

2016 Virtual Dialogue on Harmony with Nature – Theme Earth Jurisprudence

Answers and proposal by Thomas EGLI – Education

PNGBureau of the Harmony With Nature United Nations Initiative : 1. What would the practice of Education look like from an Earth Jurisprudence perspective ? How is that different from the way that Education is generally practiced now ? And, what are the benefits of practicing Education from an Earth Jurisprudence perspective ?

JPEGThomas EGLI, President of Objectif Sciences International : The Planet don’t need the Humanity to exist. The Humanity need the Planet for living.
Practice the Education from an Earth Jurisprudence Perspective, is to choose the objectives and the curricula of the teaching activities in order to be at service of the Planet. It will be positive for the Humanity. The difference of this way from the one that is generally practiced now, is that we would not choose the objectives and the curricula in order to be at service of Human society activities, at a short term. Making choices in function of Planet, is serving the Humanity at the 2 level. Making choices in function of Human activities is serving the Humanity at 1 level only, the shortest one.

By choosing serving only the shortest objectives of Humanity, we feed and authorize ourselves the “Development” of the Human activities, but it is forbidden ourselves the “Evolution” of the Human activities.

By « development », UN System don’t mean only « increasing of activity », but also the “improving of conditions”. In fact, thanks to natural sciences, we can observe, and then mimic, the win-win systems, avoiding putting into practice systems that considered impractical or harmful. Nature in its whole is a « win-win system », who was able to adapt over billions of years to be able to exist today. That teaches us that development by definition is not sustainable - but that “evolution” is sustainable.

For my side, I defend that our human society has every interest to co-evolve with nature if it wants to truly achieve an improvement of living standards for other human beings, without the need for fights to reach them. If we want these improvements to become « natural » easily, it’s on every level (children, adults, governments) that the changes in behavior must take place, making sense of the meaning we give to the word « development ». The economy, wealth and well-being will increase even further once this intellectual repositioning takes hold.

As for the social dimension of sustainable evolution projects, we can insist on the fact that humanity, being as they are an integral part of Nature and of Life, have every interest in giving those Rights and Respect. Therefore, to accompany this concrete evolution of consciences, it will be most favorable to support global efforts concerning Education from an Earth Jurisprudence perspective.

Practicing Education from an Earth Jurisprudence perspective allow all the system to feed naturally (without any complicated effort) an Education with objectives and curricula activities that feed the Development of Humanity, but also Evolution and Co-Evolution of Human activities with the Planet. Only one example : if tomorrow Humans had to live without any assistance, they will know to do 2+2=4, but which percentage of kids and adults will manage to plant a seed, grow the plant, and harvest food to live ?

PNGHwN, UN : 2. What promising approaches do you recommend for achieving implementation of an Earth-centered worldview for Education ? (Note : depending on the discipline, approaches could also be theoretical, although practical approaches should be prioritized).

JPEGTE, OSI : In all the choices, practices, activities, lessons, what will be primordial is to don’t do for Nature, but to BE Nature. The consequences will be that Education will be still as efficient as before (and more) but fully an Earth-centered practice. Very practically, this mean following approaches.

When selecting objectives and curricula of teaching activities, don’t select from criteria of the target we want to reach, as we do now, but select in function of what likes to do the pupils, depending their ages, and then orientate these activities to the target of learning we want reach.

Practice a real Project Centered Pedagogy. To have a real project don’t do a Project Centered Pedagogy. This project have to be the project of the pupils. The phase of adhesion to the project is a keyfactor of the success of the Project Centered Pedagogy. More of this, a classical pedagogy will paste knowledge to the public, in a top down situation where learners don’t want to learn these information. A real Project Centered Pedagogy is a bottom up situation where the public is asking strongly the information because they want it ; they want it because they need it, and to learn these information have a sense for them.

Past centuries we managed all together to make nearly all kids are going to school ; Now we need to work for doing all kids like to be at school. It’s from this we will be able to build the future of a good relation between the Humans and the Planet.

Even more practical, all the schools have to be mandatory with presence of Nature and living species present at place. The most important place for the future of a Society have to be inside Nature. In the curricula of the school we have to find the objective to learn to take care plants, seed, and understand the societies of plants. To take care the living animals have no to be in the curricula, as the animals will be present following the existing of their habitat, these plants managed by the pupils. In the curricula we find already the objective to observe animals ; this have to be done in these habitats maintained by pupils.

The urban sport park have all to be mandatory inside nature, or with nature brought inside the park, including living species. The sport curricula have to be done in these natural sport parks.

Field Trip inside nature have to be mandatory for all school, for all levels, from the elementary school to the end of the secondary school. The positive future of a country depend the good concretisation of this very simple choice.

PNGHwN, UN : 3. What key problems or obstacles do you see as impeding the implementation of an Earth-centered worldview in Education ?

JPEGTE, OSI : The implementation of an Earth-centered worldview in Education is not a normal innovation, it is a Schematic Innovation. This innovation occur today because if we don’t implement an Earth-centered worldview the Human will all disappear, and it is a schematic innovation especially because the contemporary humans don’t live in an Earth-centered worldview. To understand what means an Earth-centered worldview, is as difficult for humans as it is urgent to implement an Earth-centered worldview in all domains of the human activites.

The short-term point of view is a big obstacle ; the components of this short-term point of view in systems of Education, are the need of evaluation, the need of comparing the schools to each other, the need to use a standard, the need to follow working recipe, the fear of unknown effects of new practices, including following publications about good results in pilot experiences.

The use of money as a measuring tool is a big key obstacle.

The standards have to not be a subtractive tool, but to be a catalogue of possibilities, looking in an updated list of winning practice.

If the Project Centered Pedagogy is done with projects under service of local needs in field of nature (water treatment, food, energies…), all the obstacles will be naturally avoided. By leading Education and teaching while following a Project Centered Pedagogy on a real nature point to solve, the objectives will be reached, including for the question of frame and methods.

When a Governement don’t understand that a child excited is a chance, and prefer put him under medication, this administration destroy its future generation of leaders, and prepare the disappearing of its country from the list of top 10. Children excited don’t have to be put under medication, but have to be guided and trained to assuming their ability to think faster, in order they become able to help easier the citizen of the country after becoming adults.
It’s the same concept for the question of the relation with Nature. A government which don’t understand that it’s a supreme need to connect all the pupils and children with the Nature, prepare their decline.

PNGHwN, UN : 4. What are the top recommendations for priority, near-term action to move Education toward an Earth Jurisprudence approach ? What are the specific, longer-term priorities for action ? (Note : give 3 to 10 priorities for action).

JPEGTE, OSI : These Near-Term priorities for an Earth Jurisprudence approach in Education can be considered as key factors priorities, as they will feed other positive action in consequences, and can be realized without delay by each country :

  • Start and implement Project Centered Pedagogy mandatory in all levels, for all domains and disciplines
  • Place the target of the projects of teaching in domain of community based learning projects
  • Asking mandatory a Field Trip for all pupils of all the level of school
  • Inserting Citizen Sciences and Participatory Researches in all levels, for all domains and disciplines
  • Generate big employment in the country, and reduce drastically unemployment, by recruiting enough teachers to teach in a quota of one teacher for five or ten pupils ; these teachers will be payed and they will use all their money in their country to live (food, housing, transportation…)

These Long-Term priorities for an Earth Jurisprudence approach in Education are also key factors, and can be concretized by each country in a scale of 5 to 10 years without lot of difficulties (just a matter of wanting). All these priorities are generating a positive economy in the Country :

  • Change the criteria of selection of new teachers with abilities of communication, social intelligence, behavior soft skills, ability of using practical tools of teaching (building, seeding…) and their ability to train themselves to a new academic discipline.
  • Place all school in Nature or in a Natural direct environment, and place Nature and living species (butterflies and some other insects, lizards…) in this natural area of the school.
  • official good way of doing for a catalogue of possibilities, looking in an updated list of winning practice.
  • Involve schools of all level in project of wild species re-introduction, increasing these projects of wild species re-introduction in the country (plants, animals…), transforming pupils as first actors of generating life in their country.

For more deeply researches or details : http://www.harmonywithnatureun.org/knowledgenetwork/2016-dialogue/