A group of architects from Italy and the Netherlands have designed a preschool on an urban farm to help raise environmentally responsible children. The farm, Nursery Fields Forever, aims to bridge the gap between standard education and knowledge of the environment. They are off ering “a real hybrid between a farm and a school where children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development will be encouraged by interaction with plants and animals.” With a rotating curriculum based on natural cycles, the children at this unique preschool will do all of their learning either outdoors or in greenhouses.
Most preschools keep toddlers in classrooms, which gives them little opportunity to learn about nature. This lack of contact with the natural environment can permanently obscure a child’s perception of the world. Attitudes toward the environment (and everything else) start developing in a child’s first seven years, and once formed they are not easily changed. The founders of this project believe that introducing awareness of nature during early childhood education is vitally important to the development of environmentally conscious adults.