With the wisdom gained from their close interaction with the nature, our ancient Tamil civilization classified ecology into Kurinji, Mullai, Marudham, Neidhal and Paalai, which is known as Ainthinai. Traditionally, lives of our forefathers were in tune with the ecology unique to each context. Their living style, occupation, clothing, food, shelter and even Gods and Goddesses varied according to their ecology. They lived in harmony with the nature. In the consumerism dominated world of today, we have moved away from the nature and alienated from other constituents of nature. There is an immense need to reconnect with the ecosystem and we should first learn that we are a minuscule component in the ecosystem. It necessitates learning about the local eco-system, local bio-diversity and their interconnectedness with our livelihoods.
The world is even more inter-connected, while infusing globalized knowledge into teaching and learning, we should also place the learning centered around the localized wisdom. The remedial education provided by FEATHERS is aimed at enhancing the curiosity of the students to learn science and technology, and reconnecting them with the local knowledge available abundantly. It necessitates a fine balance of activities to fulfil the requirements of both curricular needs (school subjects) and value addition (built on local wisdom).
The students are taken outside the classroom into the field to study the flora and fauna of their village, its forests and water bodies, its agricultural and artisanal practices. Teaching in the field also helps understand how the students see the world differently. With this understanding on student’s perspectives, the teacher can clarify the concepts better. This experiential learning method will help the teacher to deploy natural world as a teaching aid for biology, botany and physical geography and create a relationship between children and the natural world.