Building Bridges in Sustainability Education: MAD's Year-Round Collaboration with International Schools
October 13, 2023
In the realm of international education, a crucial element has often been missing from the equation: genuine connection. Social enterprises like MAD have a strong foothold in local communities, enabling them to share their remarkable stories with the world. Then there are the world-class schools with dedicated teachers who possess an in-depth understanding of the curriculum and a profound commitment to equipping their students with essential skills, mindsets, and tools. Finally, there are the students, who, when given the opportunity, continually astound us with their insights and creative problem-solving abilities in real-world scenarios.
However, the unfortunate reality until recently was that these dedicated teachers, passionate students, and remarkable social enterprises like MAD would only cross paths once or twice a year, typically during a field trip, or for a fundraising activity.
MAD's Mission: Year-Round Collaboration
MAD's mission is to revolutionize this paradigm by facilitating the continuous convergence of these three groups throughout the year. We believe that by fostering this ongoing interaction, we can all learn from each other and collectively shape a brighter future. That's why MAD has forged partnerships with five prestigious international schools for the current academic year. The aim? To engage teachers and students in the co-creation of resources that cater to their actual needs.
Empowering Educators, Inspiring Students
As part of this collaborative effort, we are providing teachers with high-quality interactive resources to simplify their teaching of best practices related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and systems thinking. Kathryn Berkman from Munich International School, whose students will use the course to develop concepts of identity, culture, and perspective, says, "(Before this opportunity arose) I was teaching systems thinking tools on my own, without guidance or progression.” Now, she is “most excited” for her students to be part of a larger community of changemakers, and have the support of MAD courses as her students develop their projects.
Berenice Reyes from the American School of Puerto Vallarta expresses her enthusiasm, stating, "I am most excited about the possibility of trying a new strategy and having clear resources to create unique and impactful projects that transform our society”, adding that the resources “provide our students with tools and knowledge that will benefit them for a lifetime."
By involving students in the development phase, we empower them to be active agents of change. Their insights and contributions today will lay the foundation for an even more enriching student learning experience in the future. One student from the American School of Puerto Vallarta commented, after going on an interactive adventure to learn about an indigenous community in the Philippines:
“it was a profoundly moving and important experience that changed the way I think about native communities,” while another added: “I find it amazing that the school added this class as a requirement because it will teach us to be better citizens in our (own, local) community and help those in need.”
Celebrating the Collaborative Spirit: MAD's Journey Forward
Our mission is to continually learn and enhance the quality of our courses by listening to teachers and students. It's heartwarming to receive positive feedback from educators like Robin Neal from Frankfurt International School, who notes,
"The level of care and empathy evident in the MAD course design is immediately apparent. The interface is sophisticated and surprisingly centered around the human experience, a quality I have not encountered in other online platforms focused on design thinking." He further praises the content as "rich, adaptable, humorous, and beneficial for anyone interested in understanding how design can improve our world."
We express our gratitude to Robin and all our development partners, along with their students, for their invaluable contributions. With their support, we are just beginning this transformative journey!
Are you interested in joining us for the ride? We are eager to expand our network of development partners between now and the end of the year. Join us on this unique journey in service learning, as we grow a global community of educators and students who learn together, grow together, and make a positive impact on the world.
Contact Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org to build your Service Program now, and click here to register for our free course.
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