Towards the end of August, just as many teachers were getting their heads back in the classroom, eleven dedicated educators from UWCSEA, Singapore attended a full weekend Level 1 Compass Workshop (Practitioner) training. The participants were a mix of teachers (mostly, but not exclusively, from the Primary School) and the Service Learning department. A great mix of Singaporean and expatriate staff.
Although, initially the level of experience was mixed, we knew we were going to have a thought provoking weekend by the fantastic start made by the participants as they dug straight into the complexity. During the first activity when the participants were coming to an agreed understanding of sustainability they were already grappling with multiple systems conditions framed by the Compass points, (N)ature, (E)conomy, (S)ociety and (W)ell-being.
The participants all agreed that they felt less confident with understanding how economy fits into sustainability and facilitator Mike Johnston spent some time talking through the fundamentals of economic opportunity in striving towards a sustainable future. One participant, Ruby, said “Considering the business Economy side of things was a complete surprise to me that it was included, but I see now how it must be included. Thank you for the different perspective.”
As well as the Compass and numerous teaching strategy ideas, participants enjoyed using other thinking tools to grapple with interesting issues: behaviour over time graphs, the Iceberg and many more. A fun weekend with enthusiastic people left us all ready to tackle the big issues of the day with positivity. Andrea stated that she used to think that “the concept of sustainability was a bit of a pipe dream,” but after the Compass workshop she believes sustainability “is achievable.”