Our Programme Foci
Wisdom of Nature
Where We Work: National and Urban

Definitions of Terms Related with Nature Education

What is "Nature Education"?

For PCD, "nature education" means love and respect for Nature. It is not knowledge that is transmitted but the understanding that human life and Nature are interdependent—an understanding that can only be comprehended in one's life experience. "Affective Nature Education" (ANE) is an approach to nature education.

What is "Affective Nature Education"?

Affective Nature Education (ANE) refers to the method developed by the GAIA Association Hong Kong based on the Flow learning originated from the famous nature educationalist Joseph Cornell.

Anyone who lives in this world derives his or her strength from two sources. One is knowledge which when developed to its full is wisdom. The other is affection which when accrued and sufficiently shared becomes compassion or what is called great love. When the strength derived from these two sources are blended and well balanced, it will give birth to a strong and powerful will for action. In Chinese, the word "affective" in ANE is translated as "qing yi". The word "qing" means affection and the word "yi" means "will". In other words ANE places more emphasis on rousing people's affection so that they develop care and love for all things and for all beings. It also aims to nurture the will for action. Behind all this is an emphasis on finding the right balance between compassion and wisdom.

Modern societies are inundated with the desire for more knowledge and the means to gain knowledge and information. If people continue to place emphasis only on gaining knowledge and fail to make use of their affective capacity, knowledge would easily be misused. When people become numb and insensitive, the more knowledge they have the more dangerous it would be. Much of the arrogance, recklessness, encroachment and exploitation we see in the world today comes from the wrong use of knowledge.

Knowledge or skills do not have a dominant role in ANE. Instead ANE emphasizes building the relationships between human beings and Nature, between human beings, and between human beings and the self in its method and content. In this way, it seeks to nurture a heart that is itself part of the universe and of all beings.

What is "environmental education"?

According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), environmental education is the process of gaining knowledge about Nature and bringing the challenge that Nature is facing to the attention of human beings by developing skills, attitude, professional work and actions to address these challenges. (Tbilisi Declaration, 1987)

What is "ecological education"?

According to UNESCO, ecological education is something that those who practice sustainable development must know. It encourages diverse and interdisciplinary approaches to the wise use of natural resources and to the improved understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment in densely populated countries. (Source: UNESCO Moscow Office)

Moments in ANE activities:
+ Click thumbnail to enlarge photo

To share the poets relating to nature
To identify your secret using sense of touch
Joining earth dance to welcome morning sunlight
Nature education activity in Guangzhou
Guilin workshop – a group photo on a pomelo tree