How to Educate for Sustainability?

In Education, Sustainability, This Is Green School

 

In the first week of September, Green School hosted the Green Educator Course with nineteen participants from twelve countries. They got a chance to learn about Education for Sustainability around our beautiful campus, interact with teachers and students, and experience cultural immersion with local Balinese surrounding our school.    

Green Educator Course participants sharing knowledge and experiences with Green School teachers
Green Educator Course participants sharing knowledge and experiences with Green School teachers

This time, the course particularly focused on Entrepreneurial Learning where participants learned about the Green School Way from some inspiring leaders. We also collaborated with Hubud , the first co-working space in Bali that was initiated by three Green School families.

One of the main speaker was Chris Thompson, Director and Founder of Hubud as well as former Director of Development in Green School. He shared his thoughts on sustainable education while taking the participants to see various projects around our school.

From the tour, the participants learned how Green School breaks through many traditional learning ways and academic rigidity. Instead, Green School teachers encourage and facilitate students to create things in the learning process. In that way, students do not passively, but actively learn to identify problems, brainstorm and do research to create sustainable solutions. This  holistic learning prepares our students to face real world problems.   

LEAP Academy is an example of how Green School High school students experience project-based learning of their own design. In this process, the students learn deeper collaboration techniques, better communication skills, and effective strategies for time management.

Left: Chris Thompson and GEC participants Right: Leslie Medema sharing Green School journey to develop its unique curriculum
Left: Chris Thompson and GEC participants
Right: Leslie Medema sharing Green School journey to develop its unique curriculum

Leslie Medema, Green School’s Head of Learning, shared the Green School experiences and challenges in developing the Green School Curriculum, which is essentially a smorgasbord of various curricula from around the world that have been cherry-picked to meet the needs of Green School’s needs. In the last seven years, Green School educators worked hard to bring forward the school from essentially a start-up to a well-established school. It was not an easy task. Leslie shared how we brought Green School to comply with the regulations and standards, but remained true to its’ values and uniqueness.

Besides learning from the insightful experts, participants of the Green Educator Course were challenged to create sustainable solutions through a ‘Design Challenge.” Participants formed groups based on their daily practice on the following topics: Awareness Disconnection, Group Specific Social Emotional Education, and Permaculture in School: What is Missing in Education?

The teams had to look at today’s outdated education system and identified major problems within it.

They brainstormed the “What” and “Why.” Then, they presented the outcomes and received valuable feedback from their peers and the digital nomads in Hubud. Ultimately, they were challenged to address the “How” to tackle the issues and deliver sustainable solutions in the current education system.

Participants collaborating on the Design Challenge
Participants collaborating on the Design Challenge

The Green Educator Course is mainly designed for teachers and educators, but today, it attracts a wider range of participants. This year, for instance, we had entrepreneurs, ex-corporate workers, and nutritionists who are as interested and passionate as the educators. The various backgrounds of participants’ enrich the course as we received more visions from multiple perspectives and stakeholders.   

Participants also got a chance to meet with our amazing students who have been involved in several Green School student-driven initiatives such as BioBus, the first student-initiated biodiesel school bus, Green School Green Generation, students activism for climate action, and Koperasi, a cooperative created by Student Village to boost monthly income of their staff while sharing sustainable lifestyle as well.

What distinguishes Green School from other schools is how community integration is a key part of our sustainable value. Participants went to visit Puri Ngurah, a Balinese palace located only a few kilometers from the school to experience a cultural immersion. We were welcomed by Agung Alit, Kul Kul Connection’s student and her grandfather, I Gusti Ngurah Agung Watusila, who is the King of Sibang Kaja, which is the village that Green School resides. They were entertained by the “Trash Monster Drama” by Kul Kul Connection’s students, a dance performance that raises awareness about plastic pollution in Bali. They also experienced making canang and attended the Full Moon ceremony at the palace.

Participants visiting Puri Ngurah as a cultural immersion experience.
Participants visiting Puri Ngurah as a cultural immersion experience.

The whole program provided the participants the comprehensive overview of how Green School builds entrepreneurial communities in our local environment.

And the course would not be complete without Mepantigan, which is a traditional martial art! To end their 5-day adventure, all participants jumped into the mudpit and got dirty! It was surely a fun combination of martial art and cultural experience they could only have in Bali!   

GEC participants experiencing Mepantigan, a traditional martial arts in Green School mudpit
GEC participants experiencing Mepantigan, a traditional martial arts in Green School mudpit

Green School is delighted to have amazing participants learning about Education for Sustainability. We hope they will bring the stories, insights, and impact to their communities throughout the world. It is our chief goal to expand our impact on sustainable education across the globe. Together we can make a change!

If you are interested in learning about Education for Sustainability and wish to be inspired by some green changemakers, come and join us!

Check out the upcoming international course in February 2018, April 2018 and May 2018: bit.ly/GECBali

Check out Green Educator Course Facebook page for more photos!

 

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