Today’s session started optimistically. The class enjoyed the Deutsch lesson up until ‘halb 11’ and I didn’t get called Sebastian (my name is Jonathan) like the last session. As well as this you could tell that the participants were eager to present their vision for a sustainable school which was the task set by Reiner Mathas the previous day. One participant even told me she could not sleep until she got her ideas written down. After the language class the group started into the last day for the Whole School Approach and the last input of Reiner on this topic.
Soon it was time for the class to discuss their visions with each other and it could be seen how very diverse these visions were which reflects the different cultures and backgrounds of the participants. For example, Deepika spoke of her sustainable school based on poorer schools of urban and rural India and Mareika spoke from the perspective of Frankfurt. The final task Reiner had set for the group was based on a document entitled ‘Quality criteria for ESD Schools‘. The group were told to read the background document, pick a special area relating to quality criteria and once this was done they had to develop questions of their own on these issues. This led to debate and discussion on the approaches taken to these areas.
After lunch the ESD group were introduced to Iken Draeger (UFU) who’s institution has ran a lot of energy projects in schools. She told the participants that the session would be focused on practical aspects to give a colorful interpretation of what could be done in schools. She firstly gave a short but informative presentation on the main projects her organization has been running in schools. This includes ‘solar support’ and ‘50/50’ as well as a couple of competitions running. She used a method of teaching which was new to the group, a silent discussion, to convey issues and concerns of the solar support project. The group also watched a video on the 50/50 project which shown the effect it has had on the children in the schools it has been implemented in. In the project they are encouraged to get involved and therefore learn of the impact energy efficiency can have on their school and lives in general. Also through the project the school would be able to gain money back which would be used on sustainable equipment etc.
Once these projects were fully explained to the group they were set a task to adapt this to the local contexts and discuss how they could be implemented in the home countries. They needed therefore to discuss the different barriers and problems as well as ways to get around these. Once this was done the results were presented to the class. There was then time for a short feed back session at the end of the session which shown how grateful the group were for the help of Reiner over the past few days, and of Iken this afternoon.