Lessons learned of the ESD course





I think it is suitable and worthwhile to use the last column to evaluate the ESD course. What have I learned, what can be improved?

During the course, I grew sceptical. Studying an island where one has never been before, on a system level, with a group of 5 people, in the form of a course of just 5 ECTS, I found very ineffective. It resulted for me in disinterest, the first 6 weeks felt as a time burden for me. In hindsight I can say that about 5 % of everything written down in these 6 weeks was usable for the bubble week. The rest was blabla.

The lectures however I found very interesting; these were mostly not about the situation of Texel.

As a result I started the bubble week sceptical and disinterested in the content. To my believe the whole thing was to vague, to far away, to much 'blabla'. However, something luckily changed during the bubble week. I grew a bit more interested in the situation of Texel, mostly thanks to the lectures given by the guests. When we started talking about things happening in 2050 I lost interest however. So the interest in the content was kept quite low. However, I found the process of collaborating with 30 students towards one end-product fascinating to witness. Where some people started taking leadership roles and gradually during the week began to step down, others emerged in these roles. Most of all, I learned a lot from seeing Caroline at work, getting a whole group agreeing on one vision. Amazing. 

So in the end, besides getting a bit more knowledge about non-energetic sustainability issues, I learned something about group processes, how this relates to creativity and effectiveness and how one can manage that. Also, I realise now that this form (a week at location with the whole team) of education works really well. 

One improvement to consider for this course should be to change the first 6 weeks. Working in groups of 4 students on a vague concept of a place where you have never been before does not ignite interest. Maybe start with a long weekend in Texel, do research and follow lecture in Delft, end with a week in Texel? For the research part: quite the group work. People perform better when they are responsible. Let students do individual work, then collaborate in Texel.