70 PERL partners from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa consulted, laughed, danced and worked together to further develop education and research about responsible living.
With the presence of Irish Minister of State for Training and Skills Cairan Cannon T.D. and Guus Geisen the meeting was both inspirational and constructive.
This year's collective workgroup meeting focused, among other things, on changes in society which sustainable lifestyles are dependent upon.
Irish Minister of State for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon T.D. set the tone by explaining how a broad and nationwide consultation process had resulted in a national strategy for Education and Sustainable Development. His inspirational example grasped the attention of the audience.
Another individual that grasped the audience was Guus Geisen who held a keynote speech on the principle of autopoeisis. The word autopoeisis describes how a cell works and how an effective action can activate a system to exist in a particular environment. These same principles can be applied to education and self-creation. You create your own world by connecting to the world. We are system citizens and education is much like how a cell in our body works. Rather unique in his research approach is that he asked children what they think about education. An 8 year old concluded: "Kids go to school so that later we do have adults that understand how to treat the earth properly".
Frans Lenglet addressed some key questions on how to assess transformational learning.
The main highlights were the announcement of the PERL 2013 media competition winners, the launching of the new Active Learning Toolkit: “What’s the story” and the launching of the new Education for Sustainable Living booklet: “Learning to Be”. PERL partners also participated in a number of workshops focusing on topics such as the use of digital technology in education for responsible living and the use of values-based indicators in schools.
Some personal insights from PERL partners