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LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR THE LAST FOUR DAYS

Within our first week of interaction with the course organizers, we have been transformed into disciples of the fact that “Education towards sustainable development” is a useful learning platform to foster the whole broad goal of making education more meaningful to man, his society and wider surrounding.
During our first learning session we were introduced to the theoretical background of sustainable development and how the term can be interpreted to suit different variables. Our amazement was total because it is then that we discovered that the concept goes far beyond are hitherto perspective of being education for environmental protection. Furthermore, we discovered that Israel is very big in the minds of citizens of the world because of its biblical connections but in fact it is physically a small sized country. The resilience and critical way of life of the people however have made them do the very things we try doing in our countries in a very different way to the extent that they are leading the world in many domains of education, community networking and integration of learners into the society while still in the elementary and high school.

Another marveling experience within this first week has been the methodological approach given us in the training.  We discovered that in order to make education friendlier and impact more long lastingly, the traditional classroom setting does not hold the permanent key. We saw our same learning room given different arrangement to suit the learning, classroom walls transformed to talk on the theme of the day by the mobile decorations introduced.  The course instructors demonstrated to us that in order to succeed in passing on the message designed interesting relaxation activities to break the ice periodically and also adequate preparation of the needed materials to facilitate the activity is imperative. 

We were plunged into many sessions of collaborative and cooperative learning and illustrations with concrete situations in real life. We would remember for long how we were transformed within one hour to become bird watchers in Ramat Rachel Kibbutz. To crown it all, our visit to the community garden at Hemek Refaim convinced us that education towards sustainable education is not the responsible of the formal school alone. At this site we saw how a whole community has transformed a hitherto brownfield area in a city into an undeniable hub for different learning experiences-school children, their parents, the old, retired, and even the disabled.  This efficient integration of numerous hands on activities to support the concepts obtained in the conference rooms has built and cemented in our minds this week and for sure to remain for long, the maxim that learning by doing remains the bedrock to fostering lifelong education. 

   

We were also held speechless at the dexterity with which children at Al-hekma Elementary School and the Al-majd Junior High School manipulated scientific materials through their investigations of GLOBE Protocols to build in lifelong skills in environmental awareness. We were ending the week with another take- education towards sustainable development knows no age nor discipline bias, and that it is a process which continues throughout life. We think this approach is a great respond for 21st century education challenge, which is that most of the schools still lack the ability to connect the community with the education system and building in learner’s skills for life rather than choking them with tons of facts. 



We can now say with conviction that within this first week we found our feet on the course on “Education towards Sustainable Development” contrary to our narrow first perception of it as “Education for Sustainable Development”.

Group Members
1. Nicasius Anumveh Nkemasong
2. Peninah W. Kamau
3. Trang Thi Thu Ong
4. Orkhan Abbasov