ESD LT- Introduction to the Whole School Approach

As the ESD leadership training group enter their second week on the topic of ‘dimensions of ESD’, the concept of a ‘Whole School Approach’ was introduced by Reiner Mathar who is to facilitate this weeks training. As usual the day started with a summary of the previous week, this time it was presented by Jennifer, Lethabo and Smangele (Sma).

In the review of the first weeks training in ESD Dimensions the task set by the ladies was to arrange cards with different features from last week, into the correct groups. Once this was done the participants had to choose their favorite speaker from last week using a red sticker. As it happened the majority of participants found Arjen Wals’ presentation to have been their preferred. After this the official summary was read to the group by Lethabo before all three sang a song written about the week in a traditional Zulu style. This song was well received by all and can be listened to above.  Before the work on whole school began, Agnieszka gave a short review of a seminar she attended at the end of last week which was related to the topic of ESD.

Reiner Mathar started the presentation on the whole school approach with a handout of a diagram/model of what makes a sustainable school and took the group through the first aspect of this which was the Legal and political framework. He spoke about the different curriculum’s from various countries and gave examples from Norway and India among others.

After the presentation the participants were divided into groups which consisted of differing nationalities. This was to get various perspectives to the task. Each group had to take a headline from the terms and conditions of the model of a sustainable school and break this down further into how this could be done. The key to this exercise was to do this whilst thinking about sustainable development rather than just environmental aspects.  These were then presented to the group who were able to ask questions and receive input from Rainer on the issues discussed.

After lunch another presentation was given, this time the topic was what a sustainable school should look like and how it should function. In this he gave an example of how to implement ESD into Schools using the approach  and in particular the topic of food. Within this there could be contributions from various subjects and different methods of  learning.

Nadine explaining aspects of what makes a sustainable school

Before the day was wrapped up time was given for feedback on the days work, including positive and negative issues as well as questions which are due to be answered tomorrow morning. Tuesday’s session will continue on with the Whole school approach which will include group work in the form of a project on traffic and mobile in relation to sustainability.

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