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The sensitization

The sensitization as an education model is carried out for teaching staff and locals, with different content and within different projects, the basic goal of which it is to activate the personal potential of the population and to include the potential of the landscape into forms of sustainable development.

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My wife Karin Lavin cooperate with kindergartens and schools. During the four-year collaboration with the kindergarten Oton Župančič Slovenska Bistrica, they used courses of sensitization in the project Živa dediščina  (Living heritage) to develop methods of comprehensive teaching trough heritage (2011–2015). At the same time, thay included parents, grandparents and other locals into the kindergarten activities. By doing this, the kindergarten performed a wider social role for the welfare of the community, while its basic functions were further enriched by the knowledge and traditions of the older generations.

Within the context of education, they developed an open learning environment. They transferred education and teaching to the surrounding environment of kindergartens and found challenges for learning in the surroundings.

During the sensitization course, the teachers learned new work methods, which include sensing, researching and creativity. Trough exercises, they learned to broaden their perception, train their attention as a tool for researching and empathising and to deepen the experiencing of the environment and the heritage. Using their newly gained knowledge, they approached teaching and heritage in a creative way and at the end of every school year, at the end of education they formed their own method and thus expressed their individual potential. The exercises and the results were published in book form and were presented at the annual European Heritage Days.

The sensitization course does not offer methods, which could only be copied. It is primarily a program of personal transformation and growth. During education, the educators first discovered the holographic view of the world, the environment and their skills as well as their professional role. They learned to recognize and use the knowledge that the heritage holds. When an educator is aware of his potential and the potential of the environment, he can approach the children in a more in-depth and comprehensive way.

Heritage bears immense amounts of knowledge on the management of the environment, since, over the centuries, our ancestors formed the most effective ways of using materials, adapting to the climate and alike. If we learn the deep connection with nature, we are able to break down its laws, which are usually not comprised by usual analytical methods.

Our perception is much larger than that which we normally use. You could say that we do not even use half of our abilities. Modern science confirms the tradition of our ancestors on the holographic reality of the world. Different branches of psychology, from Jung to Psychosynthesis, deal with the human in a comprehensive manner and include the higher self or self as an inner core, which generates ones development.

The remains of ancient cultures on our soil bear witness to a different relationship to the landscape than the one we have today. Our ancestors were able to recognize the sacred places in nature and vital energy of the landscape. For them, the landscape as a whole was alive, with both animate and inanimate nature. They fostered a respectful relationship towards nature and the environment. They listened to nature (see P. Medvešček, D. Kunaver and B. Čok).

The relationship that is crucial for the present time and is derived from the respect for all living things is based on equivalence and cooperation. When we feel the environment, it is easier to establish a relationship based on collaboration. We recognise the tree as a being in the landscape and start a dialogue with it. In this way, we perceive that our relations with the environment are a network of equivalent collaborations: collaboration with the tree, with the rock, with the castle, etc. When we open ourselves to the surroundings, a primary state of connection with the Earth and the environment is released within us. As if we would return to our origins.

The Child receives most of the stimulus and builds his own frame of reference until the entry into primary school. The preschool period is therefore very valuable for the formation of a healthy inner map of the world.

Teaching is an incentive to look for answers and an encouragement to the development of personal potentials and the human individuality. Learning is a permanent lifelong process and gathering knowledge and revitalising internal behaviour.

The sensitization program encourages comprehensive development of teachers and children. In Slovenska Bistrica, during the four seasons, the teachers formed more than eighty subjects for children, during the courses. These treat heritage of the nearby environment with sensitization exercises. In doing so, they introduced a wider paradigm of perceiving heritage and the landscape to the kindergarten and the wider environment, which includes the contents of heritage into life.  They established a base of sustainable development, which is based on equivalent collaboration relations with everything living. They enabled children, teachers and others involved to experience a deep connection with nature and the local environment.  Together, they formed approaches that include knowledge and behaviours of heritage in the development, using creative and innovative ways which are at the same time responsible towards society and the environment.