Integrative Project for Schools Permaculture Education & Holistic Nutrition (ISPEHN)
Permaculture uses the simple designs and principles in nature and applies them in garden areas. This becomes evident in the shapes of the garden beds, the importance given to water in the environment and areas where recycling of organic matter occurs. Permaculture-designed gardens are a very useful teaching tool.They only become effective when teachers use them as part of the curriculum and integrate lessons with hands-on garden activities, such as building, planting, mulching, monitoring, harvesting, composting and recycling. Students can keep small plants and animals in ponds and pens and build mini ecosystems – all of which reflect the kinds of things which happen in the larger, natural ecosystems.
ARCOSUD works with schools in its programs where permaculture is used to improve understanding of science education in schools.Our vision for the Schools permaculture project is a greener future and our belief in the powerful impact permaculture programs can have on the mental, physical, and psychological health of individuals.
We believe that many of the problems facing the earth and its inhabitants today are caused by lack of ecological literacy and understanding of the science principles of limits and possibilities. It also includes an attitude of care towards the environment and a commitment to act. School Gardening engages students by providing a dynamic environment to observe, discover experiment, nurture and learn.
They are living classroom and laboratories where interdisciplinary lessons are drawn from real life experiences, encouraging students to become active participants in the learning process. Because of the power of peer-to-peer learning in shifting the learner` focus from the lone self to the interdependent group. Learning ceases to be an isolated experience between an authority figure and student and is transformed into a community experience. In this program, learners are exposed to the interconnectedness of our lives and society so that they know how to nature, live and act as part of an interconnected shared biosphere.
Principles for Designing & Establishing Schools Permaculture Gardens
ARCOSUD believes in the involvement of kids in every step of the school permaculture gardens establishment, planting and management through to harvesting and cooking. We teach them about design, getting them to measure the area and do scale drawings. The kids are asked for their input and ideas. It may not be possible for the students to come up with a fully-functioning design, but unless they have some ownership, along with the teacher, of the plan, the future success of the garden area is not guaranteed. Children get excited and willing to work when they know that what they are doing is something they have contributed to. You may be surprised at the number of really good (and innovative) suggestions they make about the garden and site development. Lead them gently through the process..
Learning should be fun!
Developing an outside classroom, where students can both learn and enjoy, is a sensible way in which educators can effectively teach the “curriculum”. Some students only seem to learn by working outside in the garden or doing practical activities. Others thrive in the more academic sphere. All students, however, need stimulating lessons to hold their interest. What better way is there than to go outside and observe and learn from nature? The programme utilises permaculture at its core but does far more than grow food and improve nutrition. It promotes sustainable practices, environmental ethics, and whole systems thinking. It creates strong social and food security community networks.
- Needs assessment survey for school kids
- Provision of start-up garden resource materials for the school permaculture gardenSensory education for kids Cooking with Kids-Hands-on Food and Nutrition education
- Use of locally grown produce as part of a tasting or cooking class- a great way to present kids with key concepts about farming, local food, and grade-level appropriate life science ideas
- Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Programme implementation
- Awards for the best School Permaculture Project in the cluster.
The ISPEHN Project consist of the following three nodes:
ECD Permaculture Nodes
Nutrition plays a crucial role in the development of children under the age of six. Our Early Childhood Development nodes revolve around our Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Programs and basic lessons on food names and planting. Sensory education for children. ACOSUD teaches children to fully use their senses to identify food types, recognize food qualities and become conscious of their choices
Taste education in the early years of life contributes to a child’s sensory memory and defines tastes and habits. ACOSUD strive to reach thousands of children through its sensory education programs that usually include more parent and community member involvement
Schools Permaculture Nodes
These are at the core of the Schools Permaculture Education Projects. They are one of the most engaging ways to educate children about food, sustainability, biodiversity and respect for the environment. ACOSUD facilitates teacher and learner workshops on how to grow healthy food using permaculture principles making the program to be simply phenomenal.
We educate and empower school pupils to grow food, make healthy food choices through hands-on learning with fresh healing garden produce. The schools` permaculture nodes allows kids to try new foods, encourages healthy habits and opens their eyes to a wider world of healthy lifestyles. Tasting lets children use their senses to discover that fresh fruits and vegetables make delicious snacks.
School –Linked Permaculture Demonstration Farms
This new Permaculture Node has been developed in response to an identified need as part of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Programme (SNAP). A school-linked farm is an extension suited to community members who can grow food at a larger scale to supply one or more school nutrition programmes.