We live in a time where our learning process is detached from the experiences of former civilizations conducted verbally and by acts, and from other beings in nature. Yet knowledge cannot be limited to sentences, books, classrooms and the internet. Knowledge is animate like clouds wandering above the Earth, rivers flowing from mountains into seas or drops of blood navigating our bodies. It reproduces, scatters and reunites. It does not dissect. Maybe the most valuable thing to know is that we should not forget all that we know.
For the Nature School, to learn is to connect the past and the future, humans and other living beings, the individual and others, ages and geographies, theory and practice, work and entertainment. Perhaps the act furthest away from learning is recording information heard in one’s memory.
This is why the Nature School is not a place to consume existing information but a place to produce new knowledge. Fundamentally, it cannot be operated through typical teacher-student relations. We do not see any student that enrolls the Nature School as an empty page to write information on. Our school recognizes that each student comes with his/her own cultural background and experiences and tries to learn from them in the light of the Schools’s values. Student and teacher roles are removed. With each students that joins in the production of knowledge the whole of the school learns, develops and changes. While producing information in its fields of work the school sustains the tradition of apprenticeship.
The villagers of Orhanlı and all people who possess the culture of nature are candidate apprentices, and candidate foremen and masters of this school. We do not see local, regional and universal knowledge in a hierarchical perspective at the Nature School. Here, written culture does not dominate oral culture and vice versa. The culture of nature based on oral tradition and action seen in nature and archaic communities is a resource just like a library to the Nature School. All production processes in the school are based on this nature culture.
Here classes are not accumulations of information detached from one another, but a whole of complementary teachings. Students’ ability to establish connections between different sets of information and the resulting enjoyment of learning matters more than their comprehension of what they are told. Maybe The Nature School is a place where entertainment and learning are intermingled above all else.
The boundaries of Seferihisar Nature School are set by nature that exceeds boundaries, space and time itself. All places protected and enriched by human beings; streams, olive groves, shrubs, villages, neighborhoods are also the classrooms, gardens, corridors and fields of Seferihisar Nature School.
The communities that have lived for millennia around Anatolia and all of the world without harming nature are without a doubt the main inspirations of the Nature school. These communities show us that an acentric life based on collaboration and fair sharing instead of competition is applicable. Seferihisar Nature School traces their footsteps and strives to reassert that another way to be is possible for humanity.