Nature – Teachers

Nature for Teachers

NatureWhat is the value of nature? How do we relate to nature? How could or should we relate?


We’ll start by watching three talks. Then there are some suggested questions to help your discussions in class and around school.

We hope you’ll find the learning contained within these pods useful within the class setting, in conversations among colleagues, and ideally also beyond school engaging parents as well.


Watch the talks…

“Soil, Soul and Society”
Satish Kumar

“What has Nature ever done for us?”
Tony Juniper

“Theme and variation in nature and culture”
Peter Randall-Page


Think and discuss…

These are suggested questions about what you heard and saw in the three videos, to help your discussion in class.

  1. How do the talks complement each other? How can the beauty of nature shown and described by Peter Randall-Page, the wisdom and passion of Satish Kumar, and the knowledge and understanding assembled by Tony Juniper help with addressing the issues?
  2. Human beings and the economy cannot function without nature. Your school is part of the economy, so how do you embed care for nature within all aspects of your activities?
  3. Tony suggests it should be compulsory for students to take a Natural History GCSE, to grow their understanding of society and our place in the natural world. How does your school shape students’ engagement with nature and environmental issues? How could you do more, creatively?


Run a class activity…

“Ecocide: the 5th Crime Against Peace”
Polly Higgins

According to Polly Higgins, “the earth is in need of a good lawyer”. In her talk, she asked “What if the earth had rights too?” and “Can we make ecocide into a crime?”

She gave this definition of ecocide: “the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”

Ask the class to choose a part of nature that has been affected by human activity, and a company or other organisation that might have been responsible, and conduct a court case.

Set up the classroom as a court, with judge, court officials, jury, representatives of the victim and accused, prosecuting and defending lawyers, witnesses, expert witnesses, press. You can be as realistic as you like or is feasible.

Discuss the case afterwards. As a follow up, you could prosecute nature for harming humans.

Alternatively, conduct a debate on the subject of what rights nature has or should have.