Appreciating and learning using our outlook, not just our Outlook.
Education experts at the University of Chester are encouraging us to use the view from our windows as a way of appreciating and learning more about the world.
Elaine Jackson, Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Initial Teacher Training in the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services, has published a blog as a reminder to not dismiss where we live but to appreciate the beauty around us while we live our lives in a different manner.
Elaine took her inspiration from a book Window by Jeannie Baker, which has been used as an educational text book. Elaine used this book herself when she was a primary school teacher and head teacher and with a colleague in the Faculty, Wendy Garner, utilised it to develop Geography lessons for pupils in years three and four.
She said: “The book Window gives children, and adults, an understanding of how growth has affected the world in which we live. How year by year, little by little, the small changes in the view from ‘the window,’ changed the landscape, reflecting the impact of the relentless expansion of urban environments into the surrounding countryside. Jeannie Baker illustrates each double page spread with her beautiful and unique collages, which achieve a wonderful three-dimensional illusion. They are created from materials and textures both from the natural world (bark, flowers, feathers, vegetation), as well as from the more usual artists’ materials.”
Elaine also refers to Belonging, another textless picture book about the view from a window, also by Jeannie Baker which is Windows in reverse, with the land being reclaimed from built-up urban, concrete environment. This book shows how, year by year, the natural world can return to urban landscapes. To find out more, watch https://youtu.be/uFd12NAoSoQ or https://youtu.be/cteuiljxfYc
She added: “Instead of all the hustle and bustle, the dashing and scurrying around, charging here and there, travelling miles and miles in cars, on trains and aeroplanes, attending this meeting here and that conference there, we all now have time to stop for a moment or two, to take in the beauty which is just outside our window and surrounds us all.
“Travel has been curtailed, but, by opening up our windows and looking through them, we can experience just how wonderful our world is. Don’t dismiss the view from your own window as just mundane, but look with renewed eyes at the awe and wonder, of both the natural and man-made world, and become more sensitised to and alert to the small details of this wonderment.”
Elaine also recommends using technology to bring families together to share each other’s views.
For parents home-schooling their children there are additional activities from subjects across the curriculum for children to complete, based on Jeannie Baker’s book Window.
Also read Windows on a Changing World https://www.jeanniebaker.com/focus/window-on-a-changing-world/