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What happened last week?

Wednesday 14th may 2014:  In the morning the Mashav family visited “ Afek” Experimental  School where we learnt about the integration of science, environment and technology. We saw how children can learn about science and the environment through the use of technology. The children at the school were able to clearly demonstrate how they can keep data on weather and send it to the “Globe Program” for sharing.

 

Visiting to the school’s zoo demonstrated how children can learn about different animals and more importantly how to take care of the animals. The Zoo consisted of different kinds of animals all living together and it was the children’s responsibility to care for them with little assistance from the teachers.

      

A walk around the “botanical gardens” demonstrated how a playing field could also be modified to provide rich learning opportunities about the environment. Through simple modifications, the learners learnt about the ecosystem. They learnt of how different environmental conditions affected the animal and plant life. For example, how alkalinity affects plant life. In all these activities in the botanical garden, the children were involved in documentation. These records helped children observe how changes in the ecosystem affected the animal and plant kingdom. It was amazing to see children playing in the “garden” which provided many learning opportunities which for sure cannot be provided in the classroom.


Of particular interest to the group was the rain harvesting project in the school. The children confidently explained the process of water catchment and the purification. They passionately explained the importance of effective use of limited resources.

 

Later we joined the children in the hall. In honor of the group and our beloved country, the children sang a popular Kenyan tune, “Jambo Bwana”.  We joined the children with ululations and dance. It was such a pleasure for both the children and Mashav family members.

In the afternoon, the group visited the Holocaust Museum where we were taken through a historical journey of the Holocaust. This was such a moving moment!  At one point, the members could hardly move around as they were overcome by emotion and a number of them shed tears. This experience made us to realize that prejudices and propaganda can be very destructive.  We also realized that anybody can be a culprit or a victim irrespective of their social status. Another lesson learnt is that we are all human no matter how different we are.  We also realized that this “story of the past” was only told because somebody took time and risk to do documentation.

 

Thursday 15th May 2014: The day started with a meeting with the cadets from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The group was able to explain the lessons learnt on ESD and its significance to Kenya. The members expressed their gratitude to the Israeli government for the opportunity provided to undergo the training. They also expressed the hope that the Kenya- Israeli partnership could be strengthened by having an exchange program for the Children of Israel and Kenya.


 

Later on in the morning, we learnt about community curtain as a form of presentation of projects. We learnt that through five easy steps, people can be able to compare projects and learn from each other in order to make improvements on their projects.

In the afternoon, we learnt about the “Green-Net” program. This was a very interesting session as we learnt that it is the small actions that one person does that actually lead to changes in the environment. 

 

We crowned the day by having a cultural event where we has songs, dances, drama and poetry from our cultures. It was such an enjoyable evening as the family members almost themselves lame. It was hilarious to see how the serious faced education managers could actually crack jokes, dance and act.  We can only conclude that they are very good students of their pupils. Ooo, what a night!!!

 

Friday 17th May 2014: We started the morning with Eyal taking though new evaluation methods. We learnt that with ESD, the traditional forms of evaluation need to change so that we can embrace new method which may include diagrams, pictures, and illustrations. We also learnt that evaluation should also involve different people starting with the self, peers, the teachers, parents and the community. We also realized that evaluation can be both formal and informal and sometimes the person being evaluated does not need to be aware of it. This was such refreshing realization as we have been over-depending of the formal evaluations. However, we need to remember effective evaluation, irrespective of its form, requires documentation.


Blog written by: Francis Catherine, Everlyne, Esther Onyango and Purity