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7 Connection Gateways pedagogy (c)

location_on Netherlands

Making education work for change: a unique pedagogy to teach and explore with nature

More than ever, children miss nature connection. For their physical, emotional, social well-being, but also for their cognitive development, to think creatively, to improve their school results... and simply to experience what their world is made of. There is an urgent need to provide nature-based education, founded on an pedagogy which takes into account the specificities of this generation.


HundrED has not validated this innovation.

All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
September 2021
"It's not just about recognising bird songs, it's about imagining what they mean and how we go about communicating our messages in our lives."

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Children’s relationship with nature is now based on a range of emotions, from ignorance to distress, and the belief that any contact could be harmful to themselves… and to nature! At a time when there is great pressure to deliver environmental education, it is time to rebalance children's relationship to their milieu and make it a holistic way of learning, connected with their school curriculum.

How does your innovation work in practice?

The 7 connection gateways © is a pedagogy based on education WITH nature. The 7 connection gateways (7 C.G.) are paths we take to create a connection between the inner world of the child and nature.

This outdoor teaching pedagogy uses different access points to meet the child’s initial affinity and to gently reduce their reluctance to spend time in nature. Each of these 7 C.G. leads the child to explore and then to wonder at nature, but also to deeply learn life skills, SELs skills and school concepts.

Students can expand their horizons and curiosity towards the other gateways, gradually connecting in a deep and lasting way with the living world.

Between them, these 7 C.G. take account of the curriculum, talents and know-how of most teachers & educators. They therefore provide a zone of proximal development for introducing children to nature.

The pedagogy leads experienced educators to extend and consolidate their outdoor education, their impact and their own connection to nature.

How has it been spreading?

Through our programmes, especially those conducted for international primary schools of Amsterdam, we have gained over 11000 hours of child-nature connection using the 7 C.G. pedagogy. Students have learned life skills, as well as academic concepts in math, science, language, art... What they learned from nature, about concepts such as waves, colours, measurement, balance... remained engraved in their heads.

More than that, we have been able to witness first hand the growing desire of teachers to educate with nature, but also their constraints to do so themselves.

After a successful pilot to train educators in Leo Lagrange, a French institution, the pedagogy is now being taught to educators and teachers in primary schools in Europe, with the support of a strong growing community.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

For teachers and educators, who want to:
- develop the connection between children and the living world
- enrich their pedagogical approach with inquiry, place-based learning
- provide effective environmental education
- match the PYP / IB curriculum expectations
- get educational tools on nature-based education

Training: info@nayanature.nl
Support & coaching: aureliacg@gmail.com


JOINING THE NATURE-MEDIATION COURSE ! Since 2018, the Amsterdam International Community School and the Naya Nature Foundation have collaborated to reconnect children with nature. More than 840 children have benefited from more than 4000 hours of nature.connection using the 7 connection Gateways pedagogy(c). And in order to collaborate further, the Foundation will train the teachers of AICS to become Nature-mediators themselves, for hundreds of students. This year, 24 Teachers and Teachers assistants have chosen to engage in the Nature-mediation course with Naya Nature Foundation. They are convinced that teaching with nature is good for their student’s cognitive development and ability to focus. It also fosters wonderful opportunities for real-world, inquiry-based learning. Yes, the benefits are huge, but at the same time, teaching with nature can’t be improvised and this is why AICS has chosen to train their teachers. Furthermore, our pedagogical approach (7 Connection Gateways Pedagogy (c)) is fully aligned with the PYP curriculum* and will be a source of enrichment for the teachers. We are really proud and grateful for this long lasting collaboration and the trust we receive from AICS. The training starts on November 4th and we are looking forward to it !! (c) Aurélia cg - 2021* Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate.
"Educators believe that 75% of students…
...who spend regular time outdoors tend to be more creative and better able to problem solve in the classroom". (And that's not new! Research on 1900 Educators - Coyle 2010) Is this magical thinking...? Discover more about how it works by readining this article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/educators-believe-75-students-aurelia-chevreul-gaud/?trackingId=Ktidh%2B0KTfCun8nazSu1RQ%3D%3D
"It takes a village to raise a child."
👾 In these times of the rapid growth of home schooling, and/or virtual schooling, where we all have access to a gigantic amount of content,👩‍🏫👨‍🏫 more than ever, my belief is that the deep, real, authentic connection with the teacher is THE differentiating factor in quality education for our children. (Who remembers their early age teachers? ✋ and the one who helped you with maths/language/spelling... ) 🌍 Teachers open minds, develop curiosity and critical thinking skills, have the kids discover the real world while providing a stimulating and joyful learning environment. 🤝 They are the guardians of our values and of our future society, the guardians of our togetherness. 🌻 And with their caring touch, our children blossom like sunflowers in the sun! So let's give them the means to continue! "On #worldteachersday, we don't just celebrate individual teachers. We call on countries to invest in and prioritize them in efforts to revive education around the world so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher. Let's stand in solidarity with our teachers! " (UNESCO) 🙏 Thank you, Teachers 💚 and happy Teacher Day!
Training course to reconnect this generation with nature!
For Teachers and Educators who already work with kids: how to develop a nature-based education approach:in your urban environmentwithout knowledge of nature (but a deep curiosity)that meet your day to day educational objectivesfor i-Generation's kidsNaya Nature Foundation is the first foundation habilited to train to the 7 Connection Gateways Pedagogy (c). Discover more about this training on their page : www.nayanature.nl
Empathy, a core life-skill from nature-based education
🤝 "Empathy" is sometimes seen as a "secondary" skill. Something for others but not so important to our child's success. 🧐 In reality, empathy is increasingly valued in international primary curricula as a core SEL skill. Like 'creativity', empathy is cited as one of the 5 skills that will make a difference to business in the future. 🔭 But in my view, it is more than that: empathy is the skill that has enabled humanity to progress as a species, the skill that transforms human beings into societies to face challenges. It is our backbone. Empathy comes with a sense of belonging when we feel increasingly separated from others. 🤲 So how do you, #teachers, #educators, nurture empathy with your groups? Let me know! --- To know more about how nature-based education nurture #empathy, have a look to the talk displayed on the Naya Nature Foundation 's vision page: https://lnkd.in/gVAqz7R5
Aurelia Chevreul-Chaud | Your Stories of Health
How the 7 Connection Gateways apply for effective environmental educationhttps://broadcastamsterdam.nl/podcast/aurelia-chevreul-chaud-your-stories-of-health/
The more children know of the natural world, the more they’ll want to protect it | Lucy Jones and Kenneth Greenway
From early age, children are confronted to environmental injonctions: - "don't pick this flower" - "don't waste water" - "do not throw away this plastic toy anywhere" But does it really make sense for them if they are not bound to of their own natural milieu? Have a look to this noteworthy article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/22/children-natural-world-protect-earth?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other #education #conservation #climatechange #natureconnection #time to change environmental education
Early child development: Body of knowledge - Nature
🔆 I think the first time I discovered the concept of "lantern consciousness", while preparing my talk on the challenges of the i-generation. 🐣 Lantern (or "halo") consciousness was actually discovered by Alison Gopnik in her book The Philosophical Baby. 🔦 Lantern consciousness is diffuse and broad attention, as opposed to the more intense, siloed cluster attention of adults. ⚖️ A strong imbalance in favor of clustered awareness, which blocks external stimuli, generates stress and a loss of energy for the child. Conversely, activities that promote hallo awareness, using all the senses in small doses, allow the young child to experience and learn how the world works. I can't help but make the connection to the spread of mindfulness alpha waves. ⚖️ As usual, it is all about balance! 🔦 Activities that promote cluster awareness are structured and highly focussing activities in general, with externally imposed rules and goal: video games, structured sports, tests, etc. 🔆Lantern awareness activities are all unstructured activities, free play and direct experience of nature (here I am ;-) ). And you have you ever observed children being in this state of lantern awarness? What do you notice? What do they look like at those times? 🔎 More to read about lantern conscious, play to learn and 🌳 nature into education here: Early child development: Body of knowledge - https://lnkd.in/guxGEK4s #education #children #school #experience #mentalhealth #youth #natureconnection
Breaking the barriers!
Teachers and educators always seek for ways to promote motivation to learn. Exploration and discovery through outdoor experiences increases both engagement & enthusiasm for learning. However, outdoor pedagogy is still not a part of the curriculum in most schools. We are engaged to break the barriers for teaching outdoors!
Find the nature around you, wherever you are
Naya Nature Foundation's main mission is to connect children with their #localnature. In our countries of action, France and Netherlands, between 80% and 90% of the population lives in cities. #natureconnection must find its roots and be developed in #urbannature for all these kids. We, as well, deeply believe that all aspects of nature offers an opportunity for nature connection. Nature connection doesn't need big wild spaces every day. Daily immersive play and weekly organised activities with a nature-mediator/an adult in local park, gardens, green spaces, are the base of a long-lasting and deep connection. Check out the sources below, they are really interesting! *Sources: https://lnkd.in/gZtnEqBhttps://lnkd.in/gK-wqqs
How the Connection Gateways work together
One of our #7ConnectionGateways in #withmyhands : create a masterpiece from your harvest and imagination! This is exactly what the children of the Achachak #natureclub did last week, for their last session. They created music instruments after an #atpeace moment listening to the sound of water and relaxing (another Connection Gateway from our pedagogy). Then they played along with Lyes, special guest of our nature mediator Mejane Bertrand and they enjoyed it a lot. What a pleasure to connect with their local nature in so many different ways! crafting nature items to make instruments, relaxing and following the sound of nearby water and enjoying the beautiful environment of the #beatrixpark of Amsterdam.
💡 How is the 7 Connection Gateways pedagogy (c) linked with IB Curriculum? 💡 More and more teachers are convinced that it is good for their students to regularly explore the outdoors to improve their ability to concentrate or learn about nature. Yet a few of them (16%*) believe that this can enhance their curriculum. In fact, our 7 Connection Gateways© Pedagogy has strong links to the primary school curriculum, including the IB PYP. Let's take the example of our exploration about the dark colours of nature in winter: We first explored the local nature around us with the young students, focusing on black and dark colours and wondering, for example, at magpie feathers. Then, inspired by the artistic work of Pierre Soulages (a contemporary artist who painted amazing canvases to explore the black colour), we also wanted to create our own black (land)art. To do this, we used what nature around us had to offer, and we allowed ourselves to put into words what we liked, disliked and felt. As well as exploring artistic expression, we allowed ourselves to practice our approach to patterns - that being said, we could have had an excellent opportunity to explore symmetry, measurements or multiplication. But most of all, this was an amazing opportunity for us to deeply inquire: - What is really black? - How do dark colours behave? What happens when they are lit by sunlight, or when you put water on them? How does this dark chestnut look when placed next to an even darker stone? - Why do some of us see a black colour, while others see a less dark colour? (and what persuasive word will you choose to convince the other that's really black?) More generally, by exploring tree balance versus wind strength, echo-location or the tightness and depth of a river bed from a real living situation, starting with direct experience of our body and emotions, we offer the students a powerful sensory integration of litteracy, maths, science or art primary programmes. IB learners are inquirers, knowledgeable, communicator, open minded, reflective… so do the 7 Connection Gateways explorers! *According to a survey of 38 teachers, conducted by Naya Nature Foundation in partnership with the international primary school / May 2021
7 Connection Gateways Pedagogy (c)
Teachers and educators always seek for ways to promote motivation to learn. Exploration and discovery through outdoor experiences increases both engagement & enthusiasm for learning. However, outdoor pedagogy is still not a part of the curriculum in most schools. We are here to break the barriers for teaching outdoors! Discover our unique outdoor pedagogy here, developed by Aurélia Chevreul Gaud : https://www.nayanature.nl/7-connection-gateways/
🍃What are the benefits of nature-based education and 7 Connection Gateways Pedagogy (c)?
As a result of changes in our way of life, children’s relationship with nature is now based on a range of emotions, from total ignorance to deep distress, and the belief that any contact could be harmful to themselves… and to nature! We encounter more and more students who have internalised the idea that nature is fragile and that touching it, brushing up against it, being among it, can only harm it. They become paralysed by this fear while we need this future generations to rediscover its wisdom: a whole, made up of numerous interdependent elements which balance each other out. This is why the 7 Connection Gateways Pedagogy (c) entails a holistic approach to connect children with nature. So that each of them can connect with life around them and instead of feeling anxious about nature. Connected children know and feel they belong to nature and spontaneously care for it. The complementary nature of these gateways invites children to discover the body-emotion-spirit-environment integrity.
Training 100 Nature-Mediators to connect the new generation
Many children are partially or completely disconnected from nature. This affects their mental and physical health, and their ability to care for nature in the future. As a solution to this urgent issue, we promote a Nature-mediation course, supported by an appropriate outdoor teaching pedagogy to empower educators connecting childhood with nature. We need the society to support our actions. Help us start our course, support our Foundation!
La nature au secours de l'humanité - Will nature save our kids? | Aurélia CHEVREUL-GAUD | TEDxAnnecy
What triggered our action in favour of education through nature? Go back to the origins of the 7 Connection Gateways (c) Pedagogy by listening to our TEDx talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPv4pW_fO-k

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