A while ago I decided to write about inspiring people. These days I thought: “Why not write about Schumacher College, where very inspiring people from all around the world go?”. This post is about my personal view of a place which, in my opinion, is a model of education for reconnecting us to GAIA.
For those who might not have heard of it, Schumacher College is an educational centre with transformative learning for sustainable living. Having been there before I can say: “It is indeed”! The College is located in Dartington, Totnes, Devon, UK and it was founded around 25 years ago.
The first time I heard about it I was backpacking and I didn’t manage to fit a visit to Schumacher College in my budget but I did manage to visit its sister Bija Vidyapeeth (Earth University) in Himalayan mountain ranges, India. I was very fortunate to arrive on a day which they were celebrating the Slow Food movement with Carlos Petrini, its founder. There I learned for the first time about Terra Madre, which to say the truth I didn’t really remember until I read “The Art of Mindful Baking: Returning the Heart to the Hearth” and it reconnected me to this marvelous organization. Thank you Julia Ponsonby, not just for the tip, but for the marvelous insights that your book gave to me!
In Bija Vidyapeeth, I had the opportunity to be in a workshop led by Fritjof Capra and Vandana Shiva, two people who inspire me a lot. The running of activities is quite similar to Schumacher but due to its location and culture the whole experience was singular. When I was back in Brazil, I did try to be a volunteer at the College but as I hadn’t done a course there I couldn’t.
In 2014, back in England, this time to pursue a Master’s degree. Initially, I had decided to do in an ordinary university, however I had the priceless opportunity to do a short course on Deep Ecology at Schumacher College, a dream come true. It was everything that I expected for and more, it wasn’t a coincidence either, for when I was there Gaia told me “You need do your Masters here!”.
The whole experience of being in the College had a HUGE positive impression on me: the smiley staff who makes you feel so welcome; the working groups made by staff, volunteers and students; the setting where Schumacher College is located; the delicious nutritious food made with some much love; the opening and closing circle; the morning meeting; the deep experiences with the inspiring people who lead the course; the conversations you have with people who you never met before; it is surreal!
You know that kind of Education that you have always dreamed about? That sort of learning experiences that really works and inspire? Well that is exactly what happens in Schumacher College. I’ll never forget the closing circle in the last day of the course, everyone from both courses that happened that week, were radiating love and joy. For a real quick needed change in our world, more and more people should experience this REAL transformative learning.
For more information about Schumacher:
and Bija Vidyapeeth- Earth University: