The “Growing in Bali” theme at Begawan Learning Centre is a meticulously crafted, transdisciplinary educational initiative aimed at cultivating a profound connection between students and the natural and cultural heritage of Bali. This journey is structured to instil in students a deep appreciation for the region’s native plants while enriching their understanding of cultural traditions. From its inception, the theme encourages active exploration and preservation of indigenous flora, coupled with a commitment to addressing the threats faced by these plants through practical measures.

Students showcase their rattan handicrafts

Hands-On Learning: Immersing in the World of Bali’s Native Plants

Throughout this thematic exploration, students are immersed in a series of hands-on learning experiences, delving into the diverse world of native plants in Bali and their practical functions. This encompasses the identification and utilisation of various plant types, ranging from trees and shrubs to climbers, creepers, vegetables and herbs. Notably, students extend their engagement to the cultural realm by making Hindu offerings and Balinese ethnomedicine using indigenous plants, adding a unique dimension to their experiential learning.

The pedagogical approach underscores experiential learning and a student-centred methodology, incorporating activities such as cooking, herbal tea preparation, natural dye creation, and the crafting of handcrafted items from indigenous plants. Field trips to Begawan’s permaculture and farming site, local forest, bamboo workshop, Pura (Hindu temple) and Puri (Balinese palace) further enrich the students’ learning experience.

Learning on-site with a field trip to Asali Bali

Nurturing Scientific Understanding: Delving into Plant Growth

As the theme unfolds, students deepen their understanding by delving into the scientific aspects of plant growth. This includes conducting experiments on photosynthesis and methane gas, studying diverse habitats, practising various vegetative and regenerative plant reproduction techniques, and comprehending the environmental impacts of chemical substances. 

Culminating Project: Crafting a Chronicle of Bali’s Native Plants

The thematic journey will culminate in a final collaborative project where students produce a book detailing Bali’s native plant. Through assigned roles such as editor-in-chief, secretary, content directors and layout team, the project not only synthesises the students’ acquired knowledge but also refines their organisational and collaborative skills. The “Growing in Bali” theme stands as a testament to a holistic educational approach, intertwining nature, culture, and scientific exploration in a cohesive and enriching experience for students at Begawan Learning Centre.

Students grind natural ingredients for a Balinese medicine

Healing Traditions Unveiled: Exploring Usadha Bali

Amidst these enriching activities in this theme, our Eco Warrior students had a unique opportunity to explore Usadha Bali, with a specific focus on Usadha Taru Pramana—a traditional medicine crafted from nutrient-rich plants. Collaborating with indigenous expert Cokorda Putra Pemayun, the students actively engaged in the creation of traditional remedies for common childhood ailments, from harvesting ingredients to employing traditional preparation methods, witnessing tangible outcomes. This experience not only deepens their understanding of traditional Balinese medicine but also fosters a connection with their cultural heritage, strengthening their sense of belonging to this enchanting island.

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