“Travelling School” to Germany

Educational Trip to Berlin November 2012

 

In the last ten years in the Peace Research Center Tamera, a team of teachers, drama teachers, parents and artist has continuously made projects with children. In that time, new principals and forms of learning were developed and elaborated with the purpose of building an international school - the Escola da Esperança. We completed the application for official state recognition in February 2012.

As an inspiration for the detailed development of this concept, a group of six teachers, three teenagers and eight children underwent an education and networking trip to Berlin. Children from Tamera held internships for 2 weeks in the Community School known as the "Evangelical School of Central Berlin” or “ESBZ.” Students of the ESBZ received the children from Tamera in a very open and warm way. After overcoming their initial shyness, our children found their own way into the complex system of learning at ESBZ. It was an inspired exchange and many new friendships arose among the students. There was great interest was the system of "learning offices,” in which students daily chose between 4 subjects and worked through the subject matter either alone or in small teams with the help of prepared "learning modules.” In addition, the “Challenge” project, in which students in grades 8-10 individually or in teams independently planned and then master a challenge outside of the school for 3 weeks, greatly excited the children from Tamera. Within the context of this project, there could be an exchange wherein the student of the ESBZ selected a trip to Tamera in Portugal for several weeks as their "challenge."

In the General Assembly of the ESBZ, the group from Tamera presented themselves to the whole school as well as a short film called “The Vision of the Escola da Esperança" and made a Capoeira performance.

The goodbyes delivered at the second General Assembly were very moving as the children, some of them in tears, said farewell to their new friends. 15 year old Maria Kessler shared impassioned words on the performance the play "The Black Shadow" in Bogotá (with Colombian youth from the peace village San José de Aparthadó) which included showing part of a film about the performance.

The Director of the ESBZ, Margret Rasfeld, ceremoniously presented the whole group with the “Hillinger Peace-Dove Prize” (http://www.richard-hillinger.de/). The team of teachers from Tamera had a planning session with Rasfeld on the topic of further cooperation. There was great resonance for the possibility of an Education Conference in 2013 or 2014 in Tamera with international experts from the field of innovative education to strengthen an education-reform movement in Portugal.

Parallel with the school exchange, the Tameran children had intensive lessons in Capoeira and breakdancing with professional instructors from Berlin in the afternoon. This made the children very happy and the teachers were very enthusiastic about the children. In the third week, there was a public breakdancing performance at the community and conference center “ZEGG,” where the children and their companions were invited to an "afterspace" for their visit to Berlin.

In addition, through visits to museums and historic sites in Berlin, the children got a vivid insight into Germany’s history of division and reunification. This trip was a further step in Tamera’s process of networking with forward-looking, innovative schools. This “Travelling School" will be a major area of the Escola da Esperança moving forward, as networking, travelling to different cultures and other “future-projects,” allow learning through direct experience and create possibilities for further student exchange.

We thank the "Evangelical School of Central Berlin," its director Margret Rasfeld, and all of the teachers and students for this warm exchange. And we thank all of our sponsors, who made this exciting journey possible.

"The 21st Century with all its complexity requires a radical rethinking in order to develop solutions to its global challenges..." - Margret Rasfeld, EduAction, Headmistress ESBZ