To help create full self-expression, our educational techniques encourage students to develop a sense of place from understanding their role within the natural world. We use the experience of being in nature to give our students the skills and tools they need to develop their natural gifts. We act as guides in helping people connect with the natural world through ancestral and traditional living skills and nature awareness. The book of nature is endless and our desire is to help people explore it as deeply as they desire to go.
Our approach and what we find works best, is to see who our students really are and what captures their interest and curiosity. What makes them open their eyes and feel inspired. Nature provides endless opportunities for discovery and learning, much more than we could ever hope to show in a week. So we use nature as our signpost, and the excitement and passions of our students to guide our mentoring. Just as the earth has natural rhythms and cycles, so do people. We are aware of these cycles and incorporate them in our mentoring to create a natural flow of learning.
Using passion and curiosity based learning, our teaching is very much guided by the students. Our mentoring model is based on Coyote Mentoring, a technique developed by Jon Young and the Wilderness Awareness School. The term Coyote mentoring is a new term that explains some of the ways that hunter-gatherer societies passed on knowledge, skills and wisdom. This method of mentoring is also extremely effective and valuable in stimulating the minds of students in the 21st century. The transmission of knowledge in hunter-gatherer societies was essential to the well being, health and survival for future generations. Because these cultures were oral, lessons were learned by doing and observing. Coyote Mentoring emulates this by using various teaching techniques: invisible schooling, storytelling, the art of questioning, as well as didactic instruction.
Coyote mentors know that every experience is a learning experience, and each is embedded with practical lessons and skills. With storytelling and invisible schooling, students gain invaluable lessons without realizing they are being taught. With the Art of Questioning queries are met with a question that allows the students to seek out their own answers. Didactic instruction is used to create awe and curiosity. Coyote mentors know where to find the curiosity and passions of their students.
As the mentors get to know their students they focus on their gifts and what excites them. Learning is shaped around these interests and students are led into deep self-discovery and reverence for nature.
Jenna Rudolph, director of Soaring Eagle Nature School* speaks about the teaching styles of coyote mentoring.
*Formerly known as Eagle Awareness School