Empowering Youths towards a sustainable future
Date du début: 1 août 2015,
Date de fin: 31 janv. 2016
Educating for a sustainable future is a formidable challenge and the main project goal. Education for sustainable development (ESD) helps to develop the capacity for critical reflection and systemic and future thinking, as well as to motivate actions that promote sustainable development. Sustainable development (SD) necessitates societal modernisation and may only be realised via the active participation of competent citizens. The ‘sustainability challenge’ requires competences from citizens which will markedly differ from the competences citizens needed about three decades ago; it entails that a person who consciously wants to deal with sustainability issues will need to demonstrate specific knowledge, skills and competences.
The specific project aim was developing key competences for ESD during the non-formal educational activities (16-10-2015 until 25-10-2015 in Malta) and is expected to contribute to preparing young people from Slovakia, Malta and Lithuania (19 young participants) to take up their responsibilities in helping to shape the complex society in which we all now live. Our educational model took into account all dimensions of time, i.e. past, present and future, because we strongly believe that new educational strategies cannot ignore any of these dimensions of time.
Project educational objectives (in the field of sustainable development):
- learning to know (young people understand...)
- learning to do (young people are able to...)
- learning to live together (young people work with others in ways that...)
One of the project aims was support - support for the young people lacking opportunities, thus promoting equity and inclusion to youths with disadvantaged backgrounds (economic, social and geographical obstacles: young people from remote or rural areas and living in small islands or peripheral regions, etc.).
Educational activities according the methodology which we used (case studies, the method of open space, discussion, brainstorming, self-reflection, etc.) created opportunities for sharing ideas and experiences from different disciplines/places/cultures/generations without prejudices and preconceptions. Young people (18 - 30 years old) from three countries participated in a research expedition to investigate the positive and negative impacts of human activity from the past and present time on the natural and cultural heritage and explore ways of living sustainably in the future. During the youth exchange in Malta, the young participants got acquainted with the basics of systemic thinking in the field of SD (e.g. conservation values, people and nature, people and people, etc.). The participants investigated facts and data about the interactions between culture and development and nature and development, and ways in which natural, social and economic systems function and how they may be inter-related, at the same time documenting the proceedings by taking photographs and describing their investigations in an expedition/project diary).
The materials were developed as presentations about project results and publicised on the participating organisations' webpages, social network (facebook), etc.. Later on, they were presented to local communities, schools and to members of other cultures and ecology clubs.
In our project were improved participants improved their key competences:
- by learning to do - participants were able to better work with different perspectives on dilemmas and issues, interdisciplinary work,
- by learning to know - participants were better understand the interdepent nature of relationships within the present generation and between generations, as well as those between human and nature; the connection beetwen sustainable future and the way we think, live and work now;
- by learning to live together - developing skills in teamwork with international mixed groups, and improving knowledge about European cultures;
- by developing a holistic approach (systemic thinking, thinking within a context, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, individual thinking skills and action in relation to sustainable development);
- by improving language competences and skills (the working language during the project was English); etc.
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