انعکاس مدارس طبیعت ایران در رسانه های فرانسوی …
با تشکر از رکسانا خراسانی عزیز
در زیر می توانید ترجمه انگلیسی متن اصلی را مطالعه کنید …
I will tell you the story of a man and his dream: to recreate a deep connection between children and nature so that they are beings in harmony with the world, in harmony with themselves.
“Education in the true sense of this word is to understand the child as he is, without imposing on him the image of what we think he should be. “
This extraordinary man is called Hossein Vahabzadeh. A renowned ecologist and university professor, for more than 40 years he teaches his students ecology and environmental sciences.
With his experience, he realizes that he teaches ecology to students who, for the most part, have a theoretical relationship with nature. But for him, the essential question is how is born the love of nature in a human being and how is created this original connection with it. That’s what makes him turn to children. Indeed, between the age of 5 and 10 years a child develops many facets of his personality and during this period the contact with nature seems primordial.
However, he realizes that this problem is largely neglected by the Iranian education system, as conventional schools consider this subject as secondary.
In families, the finding is not better: on the one hand, children in cities or even small villages are most often connected and spend more time in front of their computers and tablets than outside. On the other hand, more than in the past, parents tend to overprotect their children and plan their days.
According to Vahabzadeh, two main phenomena are at the origin of this growing control: first, the strong regulation of the fertility rate since the 1970s (5 children per woman at 1.89 today, almost the same level as in France) ) would allow a higher level of investment and parental control over their children. In addition, for middle and better-off families, the education of children has become an essential element regulating daily life. Indeed, the modernized and urban fringe, which opposes the Islamization of the education system, tries to get involved in the face of this school highly instrumentalized by the political institution. These families try to minimize the effects of school by actively taking charge of their children’s education at the cost of an indirect conflict with the school system.(1) .
Secondly, a progressive phenomenon of rural neglect since the 1950s has resulted in the multiplication by 8 of the population of cities. This phenomenon has indirectly led to a strong feeling of insecurity among families living in urban areas; hence greater supervision of children. They are less often left on their own, spend less time off-stage or in nature.
Aware of this situation, Professor Vahabzadeh decided in 2013 to leave his academic career to devote himself entirely to the children of his country.
And it is in 2014, after obtaining, not without difficulty, a certificate of authorization from the Ministry of the Environment, that the ecologist founded in the city of Mashhad, the first school of nature ( madresse tabiat) of Iran. It is this unusual school that I went to discover in the fall of 2016.
Here, a hundred children, girls and boys from 5 to 14 years benefit each month from this haven of nature.
The school is open to girls until the age of 14 and boys until the age of 12. Gender diversity in Kavikonj has not been a problem compared to Iranian law because the school of nature does not accept boys over 12 years old (the Iranian civil code setting the age of majority at 15 for boys).
The majority of Kavikonj’s children are at the same time schooled in a conventional school and come after classes or only on Wednesday afternoons. The families who educate their children are mostly middle and upper class. Each day, a financial contribution is asked to parents, according to their means, between 20 000 and 40 000 Toumans (= 5 to 10 euros).
The school wants to be accessible to all, has set up support systems for the most disadvantaged families (specific rates, payment facilities, support at school through student volunteers). For example, for several months, student volunteers from the Imam Ali group went to pick up two children from one of the poorest neighborhoods of Mashhad to bring them to Kavikonj .
The primary interest of this school is to maintain the fundamental link between children and nature within a large city and to allow them to experience a rural lifestyle. Today, a child living in the city is faced with a major problem, which is not specifically Iranian: he no longer makes the link between a raw product from nature and a product marketed. He no longer makes the connection between the apple he eats and the tree from which it comes. And according to Hossein Vahabzadeh it is by allowing the children to evolve freely in the nature, to plant and to harvest themselves their fruits and vegetables, that they will integrate this essential link.
So in Kavikonjno question of theoretical teaching. The motto is spontaneous learning: children climb trees, get lost in their foliage, take care of farm animals, build huts, look for insects … they touch and feel to understand and learn . The principle is simple but essential: let the children express themselves, play, discover, touch, organize, argue even … freely. The mix of ages allows children to enter a logic of cooperation and not confrontation or competition: the smallest observe the largest, the largest learn to take care of the youngest. Adult “facilitators” are there to accompany them as needed, but in no case do they play a role of teacher or instructor. In no case do they impose their will on the children.
The concept of school of nature has four main objectives:
On the one hand, educate parents: make them understand the importance of this link with nature, encourage them to devote as much energy and time to promote it than they devote to other activities of their children.
Second, to wake up and raise awareness in the Iranian education system: to encourage schools to devote a space to the discovery of nature in their programs. Cities generally have many undeveloped spaces (university campuses, parks, green spaces) that could be donated for the creation of nature schools.
In December 2016, Professor Vahabzadeh managed to convince the National Resources Department – which owns Iran’s forests and public lands – to bequeath to the schools of nature some parcels of land left behind. According to the ecologist, it is the mentalities that must evolve, it is the concept of school of nature that must be understood by the authorities so that they become allies of their project.
Providing natural spaces for children is essential so that they can unite with nature, consider themselves part of it. For this, nature must be allowed to resume its rights in certain urban areas.
On the other hand, Professor Vahabzadeh strives to bring a little nature to children who can not go there. With the help of his teaching team, he proposes “discovery days” in conventional schools where children can explore and discover as if they were in nature because “the concept of school of nature must find its place” even within the classical educational system “ .
Thirdly, the connection with nature is not only intended to give birth to the love of the child but to form their being in a global way, to allow the realization of their potential. It is essential for the child to reconnect with the skills that man has acquired over millions of years in contact with nature: jumping, catching, holding, gathering, digging, cleaning, making fire, etc. All these activities essential to survival and who participate in our being. The ability to solve the problems of life, to recover from an ordeal, creativity, take root directly in this intimate relationship with nature.
Fourth, to act directly for the protection of the environment by generating generations of children affected by the state of the planet.
Indeed, the growing disconnection of the new generations with nature has serious consequences for it. Peter Kahn, American psychologist, speaks of ” generational environmental amnesia” (۲) : “Children in big cities grow up having never seen the stars. “he said. Today most children are born in an environment far from pristine nature. Their perception of nature is the one in which they were born. Growing up, they judge the damage done to nature according to their initial representation of it. Each generation lacking a point of comparison to judge, environmental degradation is invisible to us and therefore the situation gets worse. This disconnect therefore has its roots in childhood and continues into adulthood with non-eco-responsible behavior.
Thus, the interest of the school of nature is not to bring a theoretical education to children. Professor Vahabzadeh tells us: “rather than talking to children about the harmful effects of environmental pollution, we need to create curiosity and passion for nature in them, and all the rest will follow. Thus, from passionate children they may become great ecologists, biologists, or simply human beings involved in the preservation of the environment and the planet. “
Today, some 30 cities in Iran have followed Kavikonj’s example in Mashhad and founded schools of nature: from Tabriz to Qeshm to Tehran and Shiraz, hundreds of children are experimenting with this alternative education. The city of Isfahan has even specialized one of its three nature schools for children with autism.
Initially, nature schools had no legal status. It is through determination and hard work that Professor Vahabzadeh and his team managed to put on their side the departments of Education, Hygiene and Social Welfare – which were initially very unfavorable to the concept. of nature school- and to acquire the status of private school.
The city of Mashhad being a pioneer, it is now the reference center for all schools in the country. Kavikonj offers practical training to train new participants in the project: communication with children, formation of citizens’ committees to help schools, search for sponsors, etc.
All these schools of nature are part of the same process of human permaculture: we invite children to take care of nature and therefore of the human. By placing the child in a natural environment, he can then reintegrate his rightful place in nature and understand the need to take care of all forms of life that the earth shelters, without notion of “utility”. This is how he can become aware of his responsibility at the individual level and measure the potential impacts of his actions on the living world.
The notion of cooperation is paramount and the observation of natural ecosystems contributes to its deep understanding by children.
In the same way, great attention is given to children in a non-interventionist way: they are allowed to be aware of …, to observe, to live and to evolve freely, which is rare in today’s classical institutions.
The morning passed with the children of Kavikonjgives me a lot of hope because I saw children awake, sensitive and strong at the same time. Children that I imagined great and that gave me confidence in the future. I realize that the interest of this school goes far beyond simply teaching children the art of living in nature. It is not intended to teach them a particular technique or profession. The school of nature allows the child a complete understanding of himself as part of the great All. To awaken intelligence in them is to allow them to perceive what is essential: what is. According to Professor Vahabzadeh, it is through such an education that children will be allowed to be creative, capable humans, possessing an intelligence that is not trained in a particular direction, caste or religion, but which is total.
(۱) Monadi Morteza, thesis. ۱۹۹۷٫ Attitude of Iranian parents to school. Study of the representation and the educational relationship.
(۲) Kahn, Ph 2002. Children’s affiliations with nature: structure, development, and the problem of environmental generational amnesia.
Rox Khorasani *
* Franco-Iranian student interested in alternative forms of education and permaculture, she gives us the fruit of a plot made last October among children attending this school