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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We are Artists!

Our goal in all the Edible Peace Patch gardens is to teach students about the natural world, primarily through the sciences. While science tends to boil down to facts, it is how we reason with those facts that brings a creative aspect to the scientific method. Today, we reviewed the 'Parts of a Plant' with ease, then smoothly transitioned into the main focus of the lesson: observation. Observation is fundamental to the scientific method. It allows us to support claims with physical evidence, thus grounding theories in real 'truths'. So, we had the students apply this method of observation by drawing a plant of choice, then write a reflection on their experience.

Typically, we teach our lessons in a somewhat paternal manner. In other words, we have control, thus the direction of each lesson, which creates some dependence on us as teachers to tell them answers, instead of giving them the independence to learn on their own. But, this was not a typical lesson. By giving the students the freedom and independence to explore the garden for themselves, they were transformed into 'artists'. Not 'artists' in the practical sense, such as a painter who paints, but 'artists' who are able to do what they can do creatively. As the students observed the garden, they asked questions only if necessary. The rest of the time was spent in deep observatory meditation and reflection, a magical space to explore life in an original manner. How beautiful it was to see the great amount of creativity and potential in such young people. It is times like this that give me hope in a better future.

Paul M. Amsel

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