The Living Classroom Project
“Not all classrooms have four walls!”
The Living Classroom Project is a revolutionary new education program that is leaving behind the classic rows and columns of the classroom for the dynamic interactions offered by the natural world.
It is an outdoor learning program where students learn practical life skills like designing their own vegetable gardens, growing and then preparing their own food and the importance of regenerative practices such as soil building, water saving and composting, all while getting out in nature and being active.
Permaculture Noosa is very proud to have entered into a collaboration with the Living Classroom Project, to help spread the word of their fantastic program, and to encourage young people to find out about permaculture, and how it can make a difference in our world today.
The program focuses on permaculture and regenerative agriculture practices and uses these principles to engage students in meaningful learning experiences throughout the school day.
Unique to the program is an ambassador model of “kids teaching kids” where students engaged in the program are supported to be leaders of their Living Classroom. There is a strong focus on creating a community of support and learning through all developmental stages of a student’s education. As ambassadors, students who become proficient in the practices of the program are then able to teach new students who join them in the garden. This model had proven to be an exemplary method of engaging students in the practices of the program and creating a sustainable education model over many years.
The Living Classroom has a 16-year history, seeded in the Illawarra region of NSW by Daniel Deighton and Aaron Sorensen who developed the program within Cringila Public School in 2003. The program’s success was then further supported by the development of the permaculture partnership within the Illawarra where local business, organisations, and council supported the programs implementation within the Warrawong Community of schools. This now includes a range of schools from primary through to tertiary institutions taking on the program.
In 2018 the Living Classroom Project expanded into Queensland and is now growing within this region. Their demonstration school was established at Monkland State School in Gympie and we are all keen to see them expand to the Noosa and Sunshine Coast areas.
The Living Classroom Project credits its success to an amazing network of visionary businesses, organisations, councils, community members and schools who have supported the program.
“The partnership between the Living Classroom Project and Permaculture Noosa represents the beginning of our Permaculture Partnership model in Queensland” said Vanessa Schofield from the Living Classroom Project. “We are looking forward to working closely with their members to bring our joint vision of sharing permaculture with young people to fruition.”
This partnership will enable the Living Classroom program to continue to grow and support schools to make such valuable programs available to as many students as possible. Through connecting with the community, sharing resources, connecting to other businesses and schools and demonstrating a shared vision, the permaculture partnership model that has connected Permaculture Noosa and the Living Classroom Project will bring permaculture and sustainable education to many more young people in Queensland.
For more information about the Living Classroom Project, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LivingClassroomProject/ and watch out for our shared events during the coming year.