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The Afek School – an Experimental, Ecological, ESD School

The Afek School, located in the center of Israel, was founded in 1992. There are currently 450 students studying in the school, which is an experimental school focused on ESD.

The Afek School’s experimental approach has been named Afekology. It includes encouraging students to be responsible for their community by developing a culture of ecology. Practical ecology is applied to educate the students to become

Some of the unique programs in the school include: involved and environmentally-minded citizens, facing their world with intelligence, responsibility and sensitivity. The school promotes independent learning and makes a point of being part of the community in which it is located. The children visit local sites and community centers, getting to know the history of their home-town. Parent involvement is also of particular importance, an example of which is that on each of our visits a member of the parent committee joins us. (Community involvement.)

The “adoption” of a nearby river in order to instill a sense of connection between the students and their environment and place that connection at the core of their learning experience. The children have many activities at the river – not only nature-related, but also regular school activities, which promote their connection to the place. (Place-based learning.)

The school has a petting zoo, for which the students are responsible. Responsibility is not confined to school days alone, but is year-long meaning, students care for the animals on vacation days as well. They have the key to the petting zoo and are independent in their care of the animals.

The school also began a recycling program in which the school earns money for classifying, collecting and sending materials to recycling centers. This also impacts the students’ behavior at home. (Economical Dimension.)  

The Sustainability Garden, which includes: a composter, used by the students to fertilize the garden; the Winter Puddle, built by the school to learn about puddles as breeding grounds for toads, crabs and more; rainwater collection, which encourages discourse on Israel’s water shortage, the idea of water conservation and more; an ecological pool for study and research, in which water is purified through a closed system and much, much more!