Level 1 Workshop at Dalian American International School, February 2016

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by Mike Johnston and Michael Lees

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Upon returning from their Chinese New Year break, 24 teachers, administrators and students from Dalian American International School (DAIS), China participated in a customized Level 1 Practitioners Training Session. Students had previously attended the Student Empowerment Training in August and numerous members of the faculty and administration had participated in an introduction to Systems Thinking and Sustainability as well. From the learning that took place from “How to Make Toast” and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to the numerous facilitation strategies that were employed, the session was filled with high energy and engagement and will certainly lay the foundation for the school’s goal of becoming “The Sustainability School in northern China!”

Representing a third of the entire faculty, these participants were challenged, inspired by and educated on the fundamental principles of sustainability and systems thinking. Practical applications were explored and theoretical underpinnings reviewed in a fun two days that will surely translate into clear action in the school community and beyond.

The school should be commended for its commitment to sustainability, having already laid a solid foundation with numerous projects that have included multiple stakeholders. The participation of the school Director and both the Elementary and Secondary principals is also worthy of note as these important gatekeepers will be supporting the change that will inevitably follow. One participant after the workshop reported that this was the best professional development she had ever had. And for the facilitators, Mike Johnston and Michael Lees, it was one of the most enjoyable and engaged groups they have ever led. We want to sincerely thank the DAIS team for welcoming Compass Education and we look forward to supporting the school in its efforts to change the world in the future!

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