About us as Founders:
Malcolm & Linda Devine
Malcolm Devine is a husband, father, musician, juggler, qualified plumber with over 30 years experience and has a special interest in EMF (electromagnetic frequency) radiation. He grew up in the city but spent 3 years of his childhood in a small village where he was immersed in nature.
This profoundly influenced his beliefs and outlook on life, and he has always lived in the countryside as an adult, having many experiences with local tribal cultures. He is a genius who felt there was serious incoherence in mainstream curriculum, leaving school at 16 years of age to do a practical trade.
He is most qualified to truly understand the need for nurturing the different ways children learn, and is passionate about children who cannot thrive in a mainstream classroom.
Linda Devine is a wife, mother, artist, qualified art psychotherapist and avid gardener. She too grew up in the city but was regularly taken into the mountains for retreats as a child. She is also one of the last generation of ‘wild’ children – having grown up playing outside daily with the neighbourhood children in the Joburg veld, to return home only by suppertime.
She has studied long in the academic system, receiving her MSc in Art Psychotherapy International, cum laude, in Edinburgh UK. After working as a therapist with ‘problem’ children struggling to stay in mainstream schooling, she realised the severe limitations of that way of learning.
She is passionate about child development, the resulting symptoms of our human disconnect and traumas, and believes holistic health, development and self-knowledge can only be nurtured through deep understanding and connection with nature.
About Natural Learning:
Waldkindergarten (Forest Kindergarten) is the original model of outdoor immersive learning. At no point do children learn in an indoor environment. Shelter is provided in risky weather, but otherwise the aim is to provide as varied an outdoor learning environment as possible. Growing, harvesting, preparing meals to share, fire work and other practical skills are ingrained in the everyday flow of the learning experience.
Self-Directed Education trusts the innate desire of every child to learn and understand their world. By giving them the opportunity to choose what they learn about and being flexible to each child’s individual style and pace of learning, they are able to follow their passions and interests without fear of failure or comparison with others. This is also an important function for self-empowerment and is fundamental in showing and growing respect in each other, child and adult alike.