Issue One Contributors: James MacDiarmid

james macdiarmid

James contributed an article and activity about nature and biophilia in the first issue of the Ottiya Magazine. Learn more about James and his article below: 

How would you introduce yourself in less than 10 words?
I am a teacher by trade but an educator by choice.

The theme of the first issue of Ottiya is ‘community’. What is community to you?
Community is greater than the mass. It is about acknowledgment, awareness, appreciation and learning. Community is built on shared understandings and values. Community is not confined to the human species but rather all living and nonliving others. We are nature therefore we too make up the community that is known as planet Earth. 

You contributed an article/activity about biophilia. Can you briefly explain what it is?
Biophilia is a term first introduced by Erich Fromm to describe our innate psychological needs and tendencies of being attracted to all that is alive. It is why, for example, you will always observe young children chasing birds and for that matter, expressing wonderment in all things found in nature, despite never being exposed to it before.

What’s your favorite quote about education?
“Experience is what you get, when you didn’t get what you want.” – Dr. Randy Pausch

Where is your favorite green space?
All areas that make up the natural world. There can never be one (favourite) green space as all spaces are interconnected and provide that same feeling of awe and wonder.

What is your favorite nature experience from childhood?
Going to space everyday in my rocket ship, or more commonly known as ‘my tree in the front yard.’

What are your hopes for nature education in schools?
That nature becomes the nucleus for all learning opportunities. That we look to nature for inspiration, provocation and teachings. That a school ‘setting’ resembles that of a nature space; one which is alive, transient and ingenious in design.

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