Indonesia's Green School in the jungle - Tourism Indonesia


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Indonesia's Green School in the jungle

The past few months have seen the global economic crisis push the issue of climate change into the background.

But for one school in Indonesia, protecting the environment is the very reason it is open.

It's called Green School, and is an experiment of sorts in training the next generation to be stewards of the planet.

Hidden within the jungle in central Bali, just by looking at it you can tell it isn't your average place of learning.

Instead of concrete classrooms, open air bamboo buildings sit nestled within the trees.

It's all the creation of jewellery designer John Hardy and his wife Cynthia.

"Green School is a seed, a school centred community in nature in Bali, the idea is sustainability, the idea is a minimal environmental impact, the idea is a small carbon footprint," Mr Hardy said.

More than 100 students from 17 different countries, including 20 Indonesian scholarship holders, are now studying at Green School - from tiny kindergarten kids to precocious high schoolers.

Eugene Wallensky moved his daughters from Australia to go to Green School.
Green School's philosophy is in part based on some of the controversial ideas of 19th century thinker Rudolph Steiner, who believed learning should combine elements of the artistic, practical and theoretical.

The school also draws from American Professor Howard Gardner's theories that intelligence isn't just something that can be measured by IQ tests but is made up of many different abilities, like being talented at music.

Director Ronald Stones says in practice that means producing generations of people who think about things differently and are willing to look at things in different light.

"Its getting a blend, its combining the essential skills are going to need to get through the system, particularly in English, Maths and science, all the way through from the youngest kids right through and then blending in this green curriculum, so evolving a curriculum from nature studies, to ecology to sustainability that flow," he said.

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