When I came to REAL School in Budapest, I did it because I intended to immerse myself in a school culture that values sustainability and has a clear mission: to dream and build a beautiful world. And this is exactly what happened last week, a full immersion into sustainability education led by Nicole Swedlow from Compass Education .
The week started with a World Cafe conversation in The Planteen from REAL School that brought together educators and community activists from the whole of Hungary who were passionate about sustainability, student voice and agency in education. Through different round tables, we got the chance to discuss these topics with a different range of educators; listening and sharing inspiring ideas that I look forward to putting into practice. The atmosphere of the event was itself uplifting, gathering and connecting enthusiastic people about bringing sustainability education to their communities.
Secondly, some learning groups opened the doors of their classroom to Nicole, who facilitated a thought-provoking session about quality education. The Sustainability Compass tool was fundamental for our learners to understand all the dimensions that the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education embraces, how to navigate towards it and how it’s reflected in their own school. It was a magnificent experience for the students to reflect on their own education and recognise some differential aspects of their school such as having “Well-being” right on their schedule. After that, they completed the transforming education survey for the World’s Largest Lesson.
To close the week, a workshop facilitated by Nicole was held for the educators, parents, Erasmus visitors and any member of the community who was interested. To understand what happened, it is important to know that REAL School is currently undertaking an Energy Project with the intention of radically reducing our consumption and cost through a series of holistic solutions. Consequently, it has involved the whole community and they are all working together to achieve this goal. To that end, the workshop led by Nicole gave a deeper understanding of what the project really means and how it impacts the community. The Sustainability Compass and Systems Iceberg tool helped us to understand the project from a holistic perspective and to break down our beliefs and thoughts into meaningful pieces of information to make sense of this experiment.
The days brought a spirit of learning and engagement that made all of us rethink education and sustainability. I feel both lucky I had the chance to participate in these enriching sessions and grateful to Nicole Swedlow and REAL school to make it happen. Thank you!