Value

Schools’ community members could be introduced to educational techniques and approaches for using community as a place for moving from “transmissive” to “transformative” learning and where schools are used as focal points for social change and society’s renovation. Also those collaborations indicated that learning in the community can help all the participants to overcome “action paralysis” and urge them toward influencing their local environment and confronting environmental and sustainable development issues in a social context through interactive processes, action competence, and critical and reflective thinking abilities which potentially can lead to sustainable patterns of behavior.

Obstacles to the collaborations were mainly due to organisational issues, such as organising and arranging for the meetings and visits, overcoming the limitations of the curriculum implemented, time limitations, the process itself of collaboration with otherη, as well as an understanding of the framework and form of the school community collaboration.

Several benefits resulted from the implementation of this program in several schools all over Cyprus. Benefits are connected to the promotion of ESD’s pedagogical framework. Places such as local parks, botanical gardens, service stations, police stations, florists and garden centers, avenues, municipalities, and local trades were used as “open classrooms.” This provided the opportunity for all participants to realize that outdoor activities, especially in a well-known, familiar setting such as their community, can serve as a means for renovating the learning and pedagogical process. Each field in the local community can have a special importance by offering ample opportunities to the students, their parents, local authorities and local populations to investigate a local issue of their interest and needs both holistically and in depth. Additionally, the collaboration outcomes highly contributed to the development on a national level to the reform of the school towards ESD on the pedagogical, organisational and social level. Finally, the programs implemented through the collaborations reinforced the personal and communal identity, and the people’s sense of responsibility for protecting the environment and promoting lifestyles of Sustainable Development in their communities and everyday life.

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