Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Elham Nasr Azadani
Roles at NAAEE:30 Under 30
Chaarbagh Nature School
Growing up in Iran, Elham always asked herself: “Why are humans always destroying, while mother nature is always generating? Isn’t it true that human beings are a part of nature?” Elham was on a quest to preserve the world, and to change the human perspective toward the natural environment.
Elham made up her mind to begin teaching environmental issues to children, since they are the future decision makers of our world. Seeing the love that children had for nature and their enthusiasm for learning about their environment assured Elham that she was on the right track. For years, Elham strove to teach conservation topics to children in many schools in Isfahan, Iran. Her experience in performing arts boosted her ability to communicate with people, and led her to write and perform some plays for introducing environmental facts to children and their families.
Finally, with assistance from friends, Elham established a nature school in her region. The usual procedure in nature schools is to allow 3-12 years old children to act and play in nature freely as long as their safety is not affected. As facilitators, our duty is to observe children and not interrupt activities which are defined and preferred by them. Connecting with nature causes children to become more powerful, mentally and physically, and eventually, they will feel some sense of responsibility toward nature in them.
Elham believes that each person is given a specific responsibility for a special work and that the duty of individuals is to discover their abilities and their positions according to their talent and capacity. She is sure that as a part of her own responsibility, she has to conserve the environment through direct connection with society, and children, and she will do her best to achieve these goals.