World School Network 2003
Summer Workshop Overview

Connecting Communities Globally through Environmental Education

WSN's summer workshop, "Connecting Communities Globally through Environmental Education," was held from August 3rd to 6th in Shiozawa, Niigata, Japan. Over 20 participants from India, Singapore, and all over Japan gathered.

  • Full text of public lecture by Mr. ABE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Public Lecture:
"Environmental Education and Community Development"

Many community members came to the event. Speaking in his home town, a slightly nervous Mr. ABE. Mr. ABE more relaxed at the seminar house.

To kickoff the program, Professor ABE Osamu, a leader in Japan's environmental education and local to Shiozawa, gave a lecture. An audience of almost 100 gathered to hear the public lecture focusing on "Environmental Education and Community Development." Mr. Abe explained how environmental education has developed internationally, related these issues to newly established "integrated learning" classes in Japan, and discussed the future of the town of Shiozawa. The audience listened intently to Mr. ABE as he gave concrete examples of how to combine local and global perspectives when thinking about sustainability.

Participants learn how to make rice straw sandals from local elders. Due to difference in time, TV conference begins at 11pm. Students from Israel appear on TV during TV conference

Experiential Activities in Tochikubo

On the second day of the workshop participants experienced farm work, weaved straw sandals, and made "hiyajiru" (cold soup) and soba noodles in Tochikubo, a region still rich in nature. While interacting with locals and experiencing living in harmony with nature, participants reevaluated their own communities, too.

In the evening, a TV conference was held with 9 students from Israel's Kfarr Qassem and Ha Yobel JHS. Participants from the workshop reported about experiences in Tochikubo by showing Israeli students fresh made rice-straw sandals and snails discovered when cleaning an irrigation ditch. Israeli students shared hand made "my bag" tote bags and crafts made from recyclables. Both parties exchanged ideas and questions then decided to exchange food items and introduce recycle crafts.

The dynamism of WSN's learning through "sharing real exeriences globally" was felt once again in Shiozawa's workshop. An NGO director from India and a youth group staff member from Singapore have expressed interest in collaborating with WSN and the workshop was useful in deepening activities underway in September.

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