Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dresden Day 3

Wow! Today began with short 3 minute walk to the The Netzwerk für Demokratie und Courage - NDC, Think teaching tolerance, or educators for social responsibility. They are a non-profit, non-governmental organization in Germany. The organization’s main field of activity are one-day seminars carried out at schools and vocational training centers. Issues addressed in these seminars include a critical interaction with problems like prejudices, racism and intolerance. The seminars entitled “Show courage
for democracy” encourage young people to democratically engage in their communities and speak up when encountering racist ideologies and other forms of discrimination. Based on the approach “youth for youth”, the seminars are carried out by young, specially trained volunteers. Within the past 10 years, the NDC has spread successfully to different areas of Germany. Per year an average of 1.000 seminars are carried out at schools based on the active engagement of more than 500 active volunteers. The organization closely cooperates with partners in France and Belgium. We discussed their program and participated in one of their lessons. I am using it to begin my year in African Asian studies.

We then traveled by metro to the The Saxon Ministry for Education, Cultural Affairs and Sport is responsible for education and training. The Ministry is Saxony’s supreme schools supervisory authority. The subject was the education system in Saxony, developments in the field of bilingual education. Interesting to note that the supervisory system is very different given the status of teachers. One evaluation every 5 years! They surprised us with delicious sandwiches and juices.

We the traveled to our most unusual visit yet. Dresden Environmental Center. There we discussed environmental education in schools – experiences and outlook
Since 1994, the Dresden Environmental Center has provided a base for a large number of initiatives, associations and small companies that work in the field of the environment. They take responsibility at local level for developing the regional capital of Dresden in a way that will meet the challenges of the future. The Center offers courses for children and young people in the field of environmental education. They also have a bird sanctuary of sorts. Injured birds are treated and then set free when ready. This was really cool.