Green School students spend most of their time studying outdoors

Integrating sustainability into children’s education early on is key to ensuring future generations have a thorough understanding of the relationship between humans and their natural environment.

This is the philosophy behind Green School International — an unconventional approach to schooling where the curriculum revolves around a holistic learning program. Compared to traditional schools, Green School puts more emphasis on how, rather than what, things are taught, while putting the environment at the center of the learning process.

As part of the school’s program, families are asked to relocate and become ingrained in the community on campus instead of sending their children alone like most boarding schools. The school then provides a co-working space for parents, who are most often digital nomads or remote workers.

The first Green School opened more than a decade ago in Indonesia, attracting support from Richard Branson, Jane Goodall, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The second one set roots in New Zealand, nestled at the base of Mount Taranaki on an old dairy farm. Two more are expected to open in the coming years, one in Mexico and the other in South Africa.

The major factor that differentiates Green Schools from traditional institutions is that most of the learning takes place outdoors, with the campuses and the natural environment molded together.

What’s more, sustainability is also integrated within the built environment. In Bali, for instance, most of the architecture is built from locally-sourced bamboo. The New Zealand site also uses organic materials and the classrooms are housed in pod-like buildings spread across a field.

Image source: Green School International

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