“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Drawing made by Martina 3B, IC Dante Alighieri (Meldola – Italy)
"Our open schooling has decided to deal with the topic of Climate Change" - says Ilaria, teacher of Mathematics and Sciences at the Istituto Comprensivo D. Alighieri in Meldola
– “it's a scientific topic with a high social impact, it's a transversal theme that can be analysed by exploring multiple dimensions, starting from the scientific aspects, but that concerns the future and brings into play personal responsibility and the interaction between the individuals and the community. I, as a teacher, and we, as a school, liked this challenge right from the very beginning. When Giulia called us a day to tell us about the SEAS project and ask us to participate, I said to myself "Why not? It is finally an opportunity to implement some ideas that were already spinning in my head".
And so it was, Ilaria initially involved the school principal, then the teachers of Math, Science and Technology and then the teachers of English language (since the project was international), then the teachers of Literature, History and Geography. But she did not stop there, because it involved the families as well as the Mayor of the city and the environmental councillor of the municipality of Meldola and, finally, all the citizens, because "climate change affects everyone and concerns us closely and the first example to give it is to create a network, each one putting their own competence and their own point of view".
Ilaria tells us that the teachers worked as facilitators of knowledge, giving an interdisciplinary perspective to their students. The students were asked to live the experience with active participation, to not just be passive listeners but become actors in the situation. They tried to understand the contents of lessons but also to understand how they could contribute to the big issue personally as young citizens. Families have been a support to young people in their sustainability challenge (cCHALLENGE), and the Mayor and the councillor for the environment listened to the voice of these young students and understood how important it was to offer them places and opportunities to share their journey with citizens with the common purpose of building a more sustainable community.
Into a citizenship path shared by the country
A simple school path, started in four classes of a middle school in a country village, has become a citizenship path shared by the whole country and by the entire community.
Ilaria concludes the interview by telling us: "What attracted me to SEAS from the beginning was this idea of transformative change. As a school we have always been very active in implementing many good practices but SEAS offered us something different, offered us a challenge that went beyond the simple practical action. We have found our way to produce a change by activating two types of dynamics:
- to systematize an interdisciplinary and transversal path as a school resource for all grade 8 classes (if they are not too young for solving math equation, they are still not too young for taking care of their life);
- to stimulate the students to play an active role in the territorial context, from which they often feel little taken into consideration (and ask the Institution to take the young into consideration because they can and they care).
We understand that something can appear too small and too far, but if put in the right perspective, it can expand itself with some unexpected ripples and make its impact potential great.”
The SEAS blog focuses on current research and activities in the intersection between scientific literacy, open schooling and sustainability challenges when students collaborate with families and stakeholders from civil society and industry in becoming agents of community well-being.