Monday & Tuesday
The group have spent a lot of time in the classroom learning about ESD, so the start of this week was set aside for the participants to visit German schools and education centres to see ESD in action.
In groups of 3s and 4s, 8 different organisations were visited. In some, participants were asked to contribute to the lessons and interact with the children. This proved a really worthwhile experience for the group, who on reflection said it was a great way to dispel myths about their countries – the kids had lots of questions about day to day life in Mexico, India & South America.
Other visits were to more informal places of learning. For example, Prinzessinnengarten is an urban garden in Berlin, where yesterday one of the founding members brought the group on a tour of the plot and then back to their headquarters for tea and a warm talk. The work done to keep the project afloat was really interesting, not so much relying on funding, but instead building relationships with schools, other gardens, selling photos of their space & housing a restaurant and bar on site, from whom they receive rent.
Many of the participants have planned to return to their schools in March, hoping to make presentations on the vast range of topics they covered in relation to their home countries.
Prinzessinnengarten in the snow
Tuesday evening was an opportunity for tutors, group members, translators and documenters to come together to enjoy a German Dinner. Kindly prepared by the tutors, everyone was given the chance to try traditional German food in a German home. It was also a chance to celebrate Raji’s last night, before she returns to India before starting her internship.
Returning to Stratum, today was a chance for everyone to relay stories and tales of their visits the previous two days. Time was also dedicated to writing appreciative feedback for the schools, thanking them for their time and highlighting what the groups most enjoyed and respected within the institutions e.g. their partnerships with external partners, the value of input from teachers and students and the importance of ESD within the school.
To close the day, the topic of National Workshops was revisited. The country groups have been working on these throughout their time here, and so today was a chance to summarise this work, to check where they are in the planning stages, and to present their progress to the tutors and other countries.