Forgetting Green Biographies: Memories and Relationship With Plants in a Primary School


This research explored the experiences of children and parents in a primary school class in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Participants took to the green archives where they engaged in a process of exploration, rediscovery and appreciation of their relationship with plants. The researchers' approach, based on active listening and curiosity, brought the sleeping green memory to life. This facilitated a narrative practice that played a pivotal role in shaping a new ecological and cultural trajectory embedded in the multiple realities of everyday life. The stories revealed the central role of children as keepers of traditional plant knowledge, setting the stage for intergenerational transmission and sharing across different cultural contexts in the urban setting. Consequently, this promoted the dissemination of fluid and diverse knowledge. At the same time, parents became constructive participants in their children's activities. They invested time in sharing their own experiences. Ethnobotanical research analysed and evaluated the developing relationships that children and parents developed with the plants, thereby reviving ancestral links. In this context, education served as a vehicle to enable individuals to cultivate their inner gardens, embracing all plant species and promoting an integrated approach between theoretical knowledge and practical application. The design of this educational environment is a neutral space, capable of being home to different experiences. In addition, the act of storytelling about relationships with the natural world would create a deep sense of well-being for all participants and facilitate a new form of parent-child connection in the school environment.

Author Information
Rosa Buonanno, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Beate Weyland, Free University of Bolzano, Italy

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Teaching Experiences

This paper is part of the ACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Buonanno R., & Weyland B. (2024) Forgetting Green Biographies: Memories and Relationship With Plants in a Primary School ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon