Gregory Louie

Piedmont Aquaponics

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Starting a "Green School"

If you were starting a Green School for your local community, what features would you build into both the hardware (physical infrastructure) and the software (educational community infrastructure)?

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    Nov 19 2012: Hi James, Madhavi and Patrick,

    Thank you all for replying.

    James ... Yes! A clear mind is always a great place to start. After clearing your mind, I love how you started with a question. How to we become registrants of nature or amplifiers of nature or conduits of nature?

    As a lover of wisdom and a student of the Socratic Method, I ask, what is a true education? And I am reminded of the Latin etymological roots of the word education. It comes from "e" "ducare" which could be translated as drawing out. what else shall we draw out except the truth found in one's own heart?

    I'll get back to your question after I respond to Madhavi's and Patrick's comments.

    Madhavi... Ahh, yes. You are wise to adapt your ideal school to your unique environment. I believe that authentic education has to grow organically out of each unique environment it finds itself in. And I agree that a fundamental human need is our need to connect with nature.

    Patrick ... Of course, everything is a process, or as the Chinese say, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step." And yes, the fundamental ideas are foundational, so what ideas for you are the key ideas in education?


    I want to roll all of your comments together with my own understanding and speak of my own vision.

    As a young teacher of the martial arts, a wonderful teacher told me to never stop practicing. He said that only by practicing my own art can my teaching come alive.

    So I ask myself, how can I draw myself out, or as James and Madhavi might ask, how can I or have I become an authentic conduit of or connect with my own true inner and outer nature?

    When I discover my own path, or as Patrick might say, the key ideas of life, then I believe that I will attract just the right students who are ready to learn from me.

    So in my ideal school, I would start by finding those who have mastered their own lives and feel the call to leave behind a legacy for the next generation.


  • Nov 19 2012: I think this would have to be a step by step process over the course of time. I would start by evaluating what are the key resources that are absolutely necessary to educate and stick to those ideas. Basically, cut the fat. Currently, schools produce so much waste, and most of it is unnecessary to the education process.
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    Nov 16 2012: My idea of a green school is very close to John Hardy's school in Bali. The building structure might be impractical because of the unavailability of the materials , varying weather conditions. However ,when the weather permits, the classroom can be moved outdoors. The students need to connect more with nature and feel comfortable in their natural surroundings. Schools and families can encourage and cultivate eco-friendly living and behavior in the students.
  • Nov 5 2012: I would start by cleaning my brain of all off the assumptions and remnants of the Industrial Age and Factory Model of education. If you don't stat there, you're missing the best place from which to lead people away from thinking they are outside of nature i.e. overlords making managerial decisions about agriculture and biology--to being nature itself. How to we become registrants of nature or amplifiers of nature or conduits of nature? Are we already but our hierarchical regimentation that in part have come from religion robbed us of these sensitivities. I totally urge that the idea of a "green school" is a product of a non-green mind and that until we reconcile ourselves with nature we'll still be locked in Industrial Revolution on the outside looking in to "manage stuff". This takes guts. We have to embrace the truth of our animal nature, But that is not a loss of innocence-it is an opening of a truth that shall set you free in ways you can't imagine.

    Green schools can be one room where you just do administrative work, Everyday life is a school. All you really have to do is teach people to journalize what they see according to a sensitivity to nature as a primary imperative and you can save yourself the dirt and the little cups and lights. Most information exists somewhere already--ya just gotta lead people to assemble its relevance in ways that excite them and make them want to share their view.