by Quadrant


In this spin off of our podcast series, The Subverse, we continue to explore the themes we’ve touched on in The Subverse, and uncover hidden and marginalised stories around nature, science, culture and social justice, but through a more personal storytelling lens. In this series, we aim to create a more immersive audio experience that moves away from the interview format and allows for different and diverse narratives.

We have no schedule for this, so please follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter The Ripple for updates.


Wild Learning: Yuvan Aves on nature as a classroom

In this story we listen to Yuvan Aves—naturalist, educator, and writer—who is certain to transport you, at least briefly, to Chennai’s beaches. Painting a vivid portrait of what a meaningful education should be, Aves is convincing in his point of view of why it’s crucial for a child’s learning to be rooted in real-world engagement and lived experiences.

Having been a nature educator for a decade now, Yuvan speaks eloquently about the need to design learning in such a way that it allows children to connect to their natural environment, and make their own discoveries. He reminds us of how important it is for schools to tap into children’s innate sense of curiosity, and keen sense of observation, which the dominant classroom in India has unfortunately failed to do. Acknowledging his own past traumas, Aves makes a strong case for nature’s ability to heal, and instill in us a deeper sense of empathy.

At the heart of education should be ecological and human values, states Aves, who was awarded the Green Teacher Award (2021) by Sanctuary Nature Foundation. Join him on his shore walk to get a taste of his school of thinking, and listen to children’s gleeful reactions as they spot creatures in their outdoor classroom.

The story was produced for us by Anupama Chandrasekharan. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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About Yuvan Aves

Yuvan Aves is a writer, naturalist, educator and activist based in Chennai. His interests include reimagining Earth-centric and child-centric education in schools, the reciprocity between languages and ecologies, and ground-up processes of change and politics. He writes on topics at the intersection of ecology, education, human and more-than-human consciousness. He is the author of two books, recipient of the M. Krishnan Memorial Nature Writing Award and the Sanctuary Asia Green Teacher Award. He is currently travelling and documenting stories of biodiversity, people and change along the Indian coastline.

Find Yuvan on Twitter and Instagram.