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Earth Day and Earth Jurisprudence Week - a time to transform our way of thinking

Meditation session

“The Universe is not a collection of objects but a communion of subjects.” Thomas Berry

A message from our Head of College: We each celebrate Earth Day in our own ways -- some may choose to plant a tree, garden, help maintain paths, pick litter, or simply spend time surrounded by nature. In our learning programmes at Dartington, we celebrate our connection with the Earth in every day of our curriculum, in the daily rhythms of working in the gardens together, in our development of leading environmentally-centred programmes, and throughout a learning community that includes students, staff, volunteers, and welcomes anyone who visits the Estate. As Schumacher College celebrates its 30th anniversary this spring, it is worth reflecting that the very foundation of learning here is in ecology. As College founder Satish Kumar has written in our new book, Transformative Learning:

"I compare a teacher to a gardener. No one puts a tree in the seed, the tree is already in the seed. The seed knows what kind of tree it is. The gardener only helps the seed to become a tree. The gardener may find a place with some good soil to plant the seed, dig in good organic compost to nourish the seed, build a fence to protect the plant, give water to nurture it, but a gardener never tries to change an apple into a pear tree.

Teachers need to be like gardeners. They need to observe their students, understand them, help them to become who they are, support them on their way to self-realization."

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Not only is 22nd April Earth Day, but our friends at the Gaia Foundation have extended this idea for the week in which Earth Day falls on to be Earth Jurisprudence Week. As they say, ‘Earth Jurisprudence calls for us to transform dominant, anthropocentric (human-centred) ways of seeing to Earth-centred understandings of our place on Earth and how we should conduct our lives.’ Which is something that we wholly agree with. We urgently need to rethink our place on this planet, to stop seeing ourselves as superior and instead very much part of mother earth, with our hands and feet in the soil rather than looking down from concrete towers.

If you are interested in finding out more about Earth Jurisprudence click here.
Via this link you will find some suggested practices to revitalise our relationship with the Earth.