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MOST Best Practice

Germany: Sustainability Meets Open Schooling

Running projects, inviting experts and creating your own content: Doesn’t sound like school? But it is, at least during the MOST project week in November 2021 at an integrated school in Freiburg, Germany. The participating 9th grade students were able to carry out their own projects in individual groups. The given topic is more relevant than ever and the focus of our open schooling project MOST: Sustainability.

A group of students sit around a desk with tablets.

But what is sustainability and why is it important to discuss? The project week started on exactly that question and the lively participation of the students in debating this question shows: Sustainability plays a major role for younger generations. Each student was allowed to take an object from the MOST treasure chest during the discussion. Among other things, the treasure chest contains a roll of toilet paper, a miniature airplane, a stainless steel lunch box, and a pair of children’s tights. As the students related these items to the topic of sustainability, the discussion deepened. “Being sustainable is not that easy”, remarked one student, perfectly summarizing the complexity of environmental protection and sustainable living.

After this session, many of the students already had creative ideas for their own sustainability project: From making their own natural cosmetics to following the local waste cycle, great concepts were presented. With the support of the class teachers and the MOST team, the appropriate experts with whose help the respective topic was to be worked on, were quickly found. One group, for example, worked on the subject of sustainable travelling and sat together with employees of a travel agency to get an insight into the possibilities and facts of sustainable travelling. They also interviewed Freiburg’s citizens about their travel behavior and the extent to which they incorporate environmental protection into their vacation plans.

For five days, the students worked in small groups on their projects – with great success! On Friday, they proudly presented their results: Homemade hand cream made from 100% natural ingredients, info posters on Fast & Slow Food and a Fairtrade chocolate test station were under the results displayed on the group tables, marking the end of a week full of projects, exchange opportunities and knowledge growth.

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