Greener school for a sustainable future: climate change education.
"The project was funded by the European Commission. The views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission."
PMS ERASMUS +
20-26 / 08 / 2023
Where was I and why (what was the motivation)?
In August 2023, I went to Iceland for a 7-day course as part of the Hunfalvy Erasmus grant. I had originally planned to take a didactics course related to the previous year's project-based education course (on developing 6 competences for modern education), but unfortunately that course did not take place. Instead, I ended up taking a course of a very different nature, on a subject that I was very interested in, which is very relevant in today's world and closely linked to the Erasmus global objectives, namely climate change and how to slow it down. The Icelandic context provides a good opportunity to learn about these methods, as the country's energy is mostly generated from renewable sources.
About the course
The course was organised by the Spanish PMS Erasmus+ training. The programme started on Sunday with a general programme presentation, where a total of 10 different courses and more than 150 participants met in a large hotel conference room. To my surprise, I also managed to meet a relatively large number of Hungarian colleagues. Everyone had the opportunity to get to know the main organiser, the course leaders, the week's programme and the optional cultural and excursion options in the afternoon. Already on the first day, we learned a lot about the island's unique world, its history, people, customs and extreme natural environment from a presentation by an Icelandic native.
The course was held in a small room in a central hotel in the city, usually from 9am to 2pm. Our teacher was a secondary school teacher of Spanish origin, very well versed in sustainability, who was able to show us many good practices on how to work on the subject in schools. Thanks to her cheerful and open nature, the lessons were conducted in a great atmosphere, with lots of teamwork and playful demonstrations. On the first day, each participant presented their own school, the education system of their country, the main features of their city, country and Erasmus activities, giving them the opportunity to get a glimpse of education in other European countries and to build new contacts. The course was co-produced by Finland, Greece, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria. At the end of the day, we learned about the basic concepts and the essence of climate change.
How will I use it in my school?
The course made me even more aware of the small but important steps anyone can take to slow climate change. I think it is important to change the students' mindset and to make them aware of the cause and effect of climate change. One of the games I learned during the course, Climate Fresk, is a serious game that makes the main causes of global change and their interconnections transparent and teaches in a playful way. I would like to apply this and make it known to my colleagues. The cards can be used in complex subjects, classroom lessons and language lessons. It is easy to learn the terminology of climate change and sustainability in any language, and it also helps to develop a conscious attitude. It provides good practice in linking the right things, reasoning and expressing cause and effect relationships and putting them into sentences. In addition, I would like to help the school to think of realistic actions that can be taken in the field of sustainability and to implement them.
Afternoon programmes, EU principles
I had the opportunity to spend several afternoons learning about Iceland's World Heritage natural assets, nature conservation and the use of renewable energy. I could constantly feel the cheerful, positive and very open attitude of the islanders, combined with an endless sense of calm. Iceland is very welcoming and tolerant, as evidenced by the high number of immigrants, even from Europe, the rainbow flag and streets painted with it, the all-women party and the way the parliament functions, which also takes into account the fact that a woman MP has a small child who still needs breast milk. Garbage is collected separately, including organic waste. Garbage is not thrown away anywhere in the excursion areas, even though there are no bins, except in the car parks. I saw one exception to this in the city, where everything was littered, and my colleague and I remarked that we had never seen anything like that here. After a few seconds we found the answer to the riddle, a crow flew onto the bin and pulled the rubbish out of the bin one by one and threw it out. We'll have to find a solution for that there too. It was fun to walk around the streets and community spaces, designed in a practical and child-friendly way, while admiring the great combination of old and ultra-modern architecture.
After my many Erasmus courses, I still feel that I need to make the most of the good opportunities and, if the opportunity arises, I would like to continue learning and experiencing new things in the future. This is probably the only way to improve my English skills and it is also the best place to build new working relationships. The realm of fire and ice impressed me for the second time and filled me with energy. I sincerely wish you all the same experiences and knowledge within the Erasmus opportunities.