Regarded as one of the greatest minds to have ever lived, there are more than a few things that we can learn from Leonardo Da Vinci. In fact, some of his theories may play a crucial role in tackling some of today’s most pressing global challenges such as climate change.
According to a new study from the University of Cambridge, published in the journal Curriculum Perspectives, Da Vinci’s approach of combining arts and sciences within his artistic practice could be key to preparing today’s young generations to take on the imminent challenges posed by global warming.
“If we look at the amazing designs that Da Vinci produced, it’s clear he was combining different disciplines to advance knowledge and solve problems,” said Pam Burnard, Professor of Arts, Creativities and Education at the University of Cambridge.
By adopting this technique, the researchers believe, children would be able to approach real-life problems through the prism of their own life experiences, thus helping them come up with meaningful solutions to climate change.
As part of their research, the team observed that primary school pupils in Aberdeen, Scotland, showed a deeper understanding of issues related to food production and natural resource management when applying combined arts and sciences subjects to real-world activities.
When given the task to take care of a small piece of land in their school, the students became deeply invested in the survival of plants, rather than just the abstract theoretical concept they have learned in their traditional science lessons. They also engaged in the philosophical and ethical considerations related to food production, such as how to produce enough food when there’s limited land available — something that’s usually omitted in traditional science classes.
The researchers hope that the Da Vinci method will inspire more holistic curriculums that harmoniously combine arts and sciences subjects, major issues associated with climate change will not only become more accessible to future generations but also more realistic within their minds.