As we come to terms with a new way of living during this coronavirus crisis, we are learning to rethink how we live and work, day to day. We are adapting to a situation that none of us has experienced before and, for all the challenges that it brings, there is a growing sense that this pandemic is telling us something important about the way our world has become and how it might need to change when we come out the other side.
What the spread of coronavirus has highlighted is the fragility of global systems, and at the same time how interconnected the world is. For education, maybe this time will give us a chance to rethink what we are educating for – a chance to reimagine a better education system that will equip young people with the diversity of skills needed to deal with the challenges we face both now and in the future. We believe it is the perfect time for the work of Harmony to be shared.
In response to this crisis, we have had to re-think the direction of our own work, considering the diversity of ways in which we communicate, teach and learn. With meetings, workshops and events put on hold during this time of self-isolation, we have time to develop our resources and build our online presence.
For example, we are now starting to deliver presentations online for teachers and students and intend to broaden our reach by hosting webinars, as well as one-on-one virtual meetings with headteachers and teachers interested in implementing a Harmony curriculum across a range of educational settings. These sessions will help guide them through the process of embedding a Harmony curriculum into their learning so that students can start to see the world through a new lens.
We are also very pleased to announce that the second edition of the Harmony in Education Teachers’ Guide is soon to be published with a foreword from HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of the Sustainable Food Trust. Meanwhile in Japan, a translated version of the Teachers’ Guide has been printed and is ready to be shared with schools. We are also exploring the possibility of translating the guide into Chinese.
Alongside this, we have been begun work on another guide – this time, aimed at farmers and food producers. The Harmony in Food and Farming Guide will set out best practice in terms of sustainable, local and resilient food production, linked to exemplar farms putting principles of Harmony into practice. We hope that this guide will be completed later this year for publication at the start of 2021.
The Harmony in Education event, due to be held at the University of Winchester on Friday, 1st May has been postponed and will now take place on Wednesday, 23rd September 2020. We hope that everyone who was due to attend in May will be able to join us in the autumn, as perhaps now more than ever, a transformation of our education system is needed. The event will provide educators with a toolkit of methods to help put sustainability at the heart of their curricula, in line with Nature’s principles of Harmony.
With future events in mind, we have produced a series of posters and banners referencing each of the Harmony principles, as well as a new leaflet outlining our educational work in further detail.
We are also making some short one-minute films that capture the essence of the work of Harmony. We have started with some parent perspectives of where education could go next, which are on the website, and we are now working on some short films that explain each of the Harmony principles.
Finally, over the course of the next few months, we intend to dedicate time towards re-designing The Harmony Project website so that it is cleaner and easier to navigate. The website will be a critical means of communication as we move forward, operating as a vital resource database, as well as platform for sharing ideas. New resources to be published over the coming months include termly curriculum overviews as well as a series of activities for children to do at home during lockdown.
We look forward to keeping you up to date with further developments in our work over the coming months. Please do contact us if you would like more information on any of the above and thank you for all your support at this critical time.
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