Background – Gaye Amus
Gaye Amus founder of Learning In Nature Ltd, is an environmental educator, permaculture designer and is specialized in early childhood education.
Born in Kuwait 1978, Gaye is from Istanbul,Turkey and has been living in Finland for 11 years. Her experiences have taken her on a pathway from working in various kindergartens inluding a forest/nature kindergarten to presently facilitating courses, giving seminars and consultation on sustainability, nature education and outdoor learning.
Her interest in alternative education began while working as an English teacher in an English Emergent kindergarten in Istanbul. She travelled to Germany, Austria, Italy, Denmark and Finland to make study visits to kindergartens such as the Reggio Emilia, Rudolf Steiner, Montessori and Forest kindergartens with an emphasis on how children use space.
In 2007, she decided to go abroad to work in a forest kindergarten to gain experience and broaden her knowledge on outdoor education. Her pathway thus began in Finland working in a nature kindergarten which operated according to the pedagogical principles of “being at home in natural surroundings”. She continued her contact with the outdoors while working in a Reggio-inspired public day care centre, followed by a five year period in an eco-friendly Finnish public day care centre which had regular visits to a forest. Gaye participated in various outdoor learning courses on nature for early childhood educators, gave in-training courses and participated in international conferences. During her stay, she completed her studies in child development and in 2013 graduated as one of the first graduates of the Environmental School of Finland, as an environmental educator.
She has had an article published called “An alternative journey into forest kindergartens and the Reggio Emilia approach”, which depicts some of her experiences in early childhood education in Finland during the years 2007-2012. The article can be found online here.
Gaye pioneered and co-founded the Children in Permaculture project and is the co-author of the new book “Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share in Education: The Children in Permaculture Manual”.