We can attempt to teach the things that I might imagine the Earth would teach us: Silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligating and wildness. –David Orr (www.GlobalOnenessProject.org)
Nature’s Child Global Classroom is based on Dr. Michael J. Cohen’s Project NatureConnect, university level program created in 1985, with art therapy exercises adapted from Dr. Theresa Sweeney’s Eco-Art Therapy: Creative Activities That Let Earth Teach. The project is co-authored by Connie Giffin, MarieBaun, IroKeramida, Grant Waldman, all current PhD candidates at Project NatureConnect.
Two class groups will initially be offered using age as a guide only, 6 -12 and 13–17. Each class group is teamed up with a comparable class having a language in common located in another countryor culture and directed by a Project NatureConnect trained facilitator. Individual classes meet once a week to perform their exercises in a natural area with their teacher or responsible adult. Classmates identify and share their experiences through increasing awareness of their 54 natural senses with each other. At the agreed time once a week, the two partnered groups meet here in the on-line global classroom to exchange their sensory perceptions. “Classes” may consist of formal elementary and secondary public or private school classes. local groups formed by home schoolers, or neighborhood or organization sponsored groups.Each registered class group will have a responsible adult, teacher, parent, organization member, etc. who will guide the process at the individual site in collaboration with the Project NatureConnect trained co-facilitator.
This class offers young learners the unprecedented opportunity to:
- Learn the process that will enhance all areas of their life through reconnection with Mother Nature.
- Learn to identify their 54 natural senses as they communicate and reconnect with Mother Nature.
- Learn how to return to their authentic self in balance with Mother Nature’s sustainable plan.
- Learn to see their world as Oneness through a global perspective.
- Learn to become tomorrow’s Earth Avatars.
Learners over 17 with a secondary education or equivalent will be referred to Project NatureConnect’s tuition supplemented certification and internationally accredited BA, MA, PhD degree programs. This Applied Ecopsychology program may be studied as a stand-alone major or complement most areas of study.
History and Vision
From Connie Giffin’s original global research project: Our Children Our Future 2012-13, initially 6 basic groups of essences that underlie the most innovative models’ holistic education framework were revealed. Second, it was observed that all models functioned far beyond their individual purpose contributing proven grass-roots solutions capable of solving multiple global human created destruction wrought upon the earth. Finally, closer, intense investigation of the purpose of one of the original models, Project NatureConnect, highlighted a facet of far grander significance than all previous discoveries. This humbly developed, grass roots concept holds the power to change the world, not only solve man’s underlying problem, but more significant, to provide the process through a course of study that enable’s humanity to return to the fork in the road from which it once veered and when the destruction levied upon home earth began. Dr. Michael J. Cohen, now 87, has devoted his life’s work to bringing Earth’s most intelligent species back into harmony with its only home, planet earth and all nature’s equally valued sentient beings. In 2015 he celebrated his 70th year as an active outdoor and environmental educator. He has slept outdoors in natural areas for the past 40 years and made over 8,000 hikes up Mt. Young in San Juan Island where he’s lived for 25 years.
Complimentary to most areas of study, Project NatureConnect was founded in 1985 and offers low cost internationally accredited degrees through Akamai University and certificates through Portland State University. This one of a kind program guides the learner through the experiential process to restore his original biophilic connection to nature. Through reactivating the 54 senses which accompanies each newborn as an instruction manual, it is possible for learners to reconnect to nature to “create an optimum fe, diversity, and beauty without creating runaway garbage, insanity, or war”, states Cohen (Return ToNature, p.98). At the fork in the road, disconnection and new brain thinking misdirected humanity along a path of waging war and dominance over its cosmically balanced, almost perfectly functioning natural biosphere. This knowledge was then translated into a resource for education, collaboration, and revitalizing humanity’s role on her Earth Mother. This classroom extends the reach of the program to younger learners, encouraging global collaboration of classes sharing a language in common. To further enhance bringing this program to the young learners, the authors have included ideas drawn from Eco-Art Therapy based on the work of Dr. Cohen’s long-time colleague Dr. Theresa Sweeney.
Our hope for this endeavor is that its value will be recognized by educators, parents, business and political leaders, religious and social organizations who will lend their support or partner with us. To positively impact the life direction of younger learners that they may become tomorrow’s Earth Avatars is our goal.