What is the purpose of education? Is it to develop a literate society? To develop intellect in people? To create an effective workforce? Or prepare students to become responsible citizens? The world hasn’t been able to reach a unanimous consensus on the point of education yet. But we have.
The point of education is to make the world a better place. There, I said it.
Who could argue with that? At the very least, we can all agree that education isn’t meant to make the world a worse place.
Our Green School Bali mission – ‘A community of learners making the world sustainable’ – is a big call. Yes, mission statements are supposed to be impressive, but the Green School Bali mission is a challenge we set for ourselves, individually and as a community. It says: we believe education needs to play an important role in how we create the future.
Let’s quickly clarify the word ‘sustainable’. I’m very well aware of the need for us to be creating regenerative systems. I know that sustaining our current ways of living isn’t enough. We need to do more. The challenge now is to find regenerative solutions that enable us to live sustainably. A sustainable future – that should be our collective goal.
I’m fortunate to have opportunities to talk through our Green School Bali model of education (and specifically, our mission statement) with a wide range of people; students, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, activists, artists, and I’m always happy to make a stand that this little school in the jungle, as a community, is helping make our world sustainable.
I see it every day.
I see it in our pre-K and Kindy program as our youngest learners ignite their love and fascination with nature.
I see it in our Primary assemblies (what a party!) – with students sharing their learning and the community celebrating together.
Our Middle School thematics, with strong connections to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, provide opportunities for our students to activate real-world skills and values-based learning.
I see it in our High School community with student projects (big and small) making a difference in their lives and in their communities.
I can see education systems changing – even traditional education models are realising that the divide between the learning experiences that schools create and the real world is fast widening. At Green School Bali, over the past 13 years, we have had an opportunity to redefine the purpose of education, the point of education. The reason we send our children to school for twelve-plus years MUST connect with the needs of the real world. A challenge within that ‘need’ is knowing that this fast-changing world isn’t slowing down.
By educating for a sustainable future – by simply stating that, as educators, as parents, as students, we believe that the point of education is to make the world a better place – we have been able to create a model for education that is relevant to the real world now and in the future.
We are a community of learners making our world sustainable. Will you join us?