Online teaching materials



The Artists' Journey (Part 2 of 3) to the Children's Forest



An Ecology of Mind
A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory Bateson

An Ecology of Mind is a film portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, systems theorist, and filmmaker, produced and directed by his daughter, Nora Bateson.
The film includes footage from Bateson’s own films shot in the 1930s in Bali (with Margaret Mead) and New Guinea, along with photographs, filmed lectures, and interviews. His youngest child, Nora, depicts him as a man who studied the interrelationships of the complex systems in which we live with a depth motivated by scientific rigor and caring integrity.
Nora Bateson’s rediscovery of his work documents the vast – and continuing – influence Bateson’s thinking has had on the work of an amazingly wide range of disciplines. Through contemporary interviews, along with his own words, Bateson’s way of thinking reveals practical approaches to the enormous challenges confronting the human race and the natural world.
Gregory Bateson’s theories, such as “the double bind” and “the pattern which connects”, continue to impact the fields of anthropology, psychiatry, information science, cybernetics, urban planning, biology, and ecology, challenging people to think in new ways.
Until now, his work has been largely inaccessible to most of us. Through this film, Nora Bateson sets out to show that his ideas are not just fodder for academic theory, but can help instruct a way of life. She presents his thinking using a richly personal perspective, focusing on the stories Bateson used to present his ideas and how the beauty of life itself provided the framework of his life’s pursuits.
This film hopes to inspire its audience to see our lives within a larger system - glistening with symmetry, play, and metaphor. An invitation to ask the kinds of questions that could help thread the world back together from the inside.



Play Again

At a time when children spend more time in the virtual world than the natural world, Play Again unplugs a group of media savvy teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure, documenting the wonder that comes from time spent in nature and inspiring action for a sustainable future.
One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet? At a time when children play more behind screens than outside, Play Again explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole?
This documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. play again unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and geneticist David Suzuki, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future.



Outdoor Kindergarten - Back to Nature. Northern Norway

Editor Chris Merry, Producer Robert Stern


Mother Nature's Child

A documentary film currently in production and that is expected to be released in the fall of 2010.
Mother Nature’s Child explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development through the experience of toddlers, children in middle childhood and adolescents. The film marks a moment in time when a living generation can still recall childhoods of free play outdoors; this will not be true for most children growing up today. The effects of “nature deficit disorder” are now being noted across the country in epidemics of child obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
Mother Nature’s Child asks the questions: Why do children need unstructured time outside? What is the place of risk-taking in healthy child development? How is play a form of learning? Why are teachers resistant to taking students outside? How can city kids connect with nature? What does it mean to educate the ‘whole’ child?


Living School: The Farm as a Pedagogical Resource (Part 1 and 2)

What connects us, as human beings, to a flower, a carrot, a cow or an earthworm? In the Norwegian project Levande Skule (Living School) children explore their relationship to nature in a very direct way, throughout the seasons.
Each week, they spend one day at a farm near to their school, participating in all the prevailing tasks. By tasting, smelling, touching, seeing and listening, they open their senses to their natural surroundings. The farm proves to be a unique classroom. This documentary gives a colourful impression of Living School and is a source of inspiration to teachers, pupils, parents and farmers.
Length: 20 min. Producer: Ole Bernt Frøshaug,Visions AS2 001, Translation: Ceciel Verheij.
Contact: erling.krogh(at), linda.jolly(at)

Click here to see Part 2 as well.

Click here to read the full transcript of the film.

See also:


This Little Bird


After a sparrow accidentally falls into her pond artist Lisa Lipsett seizes the opportunity to draw, paint and dialogue with this little bird. This instructional video reveals the practice and some basic theory behind the process of artful communion with Nature. Useful for teachers, parents and students interested in deepening human-Nature relationships through the arts, this video is meant as a companion piece to the PDF On Speaking Terms Again: Creating a fit with Nature available at


Drawing Closer to Nature

Film on a 'holistic art workshop' that took place in 2007, showing Peter London teaching.

View online


How Art Catches a Rabbit

50 minute documentary on the Kunstbroedplaats ("Art breeding place") project
in the Dutch wetlands of the Weerribben, 2005, made by ReRun Producties.

View online


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