The complexity of ESD was still fresh on each individuals mind this morning as the memories were still ripe in their minds from yesterdays session. Today the room had a more relaxed atmosphere where the participants were encouraged to sit back and take in the information from the key speakers and engage themselves in discussion.
Today for the first time in the ESD training there was an input and discussion session led by a participant. Parks discussed the issue of Indigenous Knowledge systems and its role in ESD. This stimulated a lot of debate amongst the group and took them right up until lunch time.
After lunch the first speaker of the day was introduced. This was Mary Prinzler from EPIZ, an NGO which deals with the issue of Global Learning. She presented the work of the organization which included work with secondary schools and vocational education (which she finds less inviting than the former). Mary discussed methods EPIZ uses to communicate with young people and includes learning materials (such as publications), field trips and E-learning. The latter is seen as a very important tool for the future of Global Learning.
This lead the group into the second talk of the afternoon with Dr Arjen Wals, a professor of social learning and sustainable development at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He gave a presentation on sustainable development and in this he discussed the link between ‘Environmental Education’ and ‘Education for Sustainable development’ which is an issue which has been discussed before in the ESD training and will surely be brought up again. He also discussed the various types of education which are on the rise and therefore competing with each other (climate change education, HIV Education, Health Education, nature education etc) and the idea was put forward that ESD could link all of these types of education. One important question which Dr Wals asked was,
“what kind of education can prevent us from collapsing as a society”,
Which he asked as he spoke of a book entitled ‘collapse’.
After a short break he set a task for the participants in groups of two which centered around the ecological footprint of mobile phones. This was a good example of why ESD is important to be implemented throughout the world as even in the poorest nations on earth, people have mobiles phones. Arjen’s presentation will be available on the GC21 for any participant who wants to view this.
The group will meet at 8am tomorrow morning for a field trip which will take them to Saxony-Anhalt to experience the use of ESD at different levels.