Exposystem Johanneum on the EXPO 2000 Alphabetical Index unten
Nature as an invention of man
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The Johanneum is an EXPO school
Introductory words from the headmaster

Photo of the first announcement of certification of the Johanneum in November 1997

from left to right
Headmaster Peter Nissen
Parents' Representative Irene Imelmann
Pupils' Representative Jochen Kalliefe
The project's initiator Alfred Blohm


How it happened that the Johanneum became an EXPO school

In December 1996 it became public that for the world exhibition EXPO in Hannover in the year 2000 schools were summoned to contribute ideas to the EXPO Project "What school does the future of our world need?" . More than 300 schools declared their interest, 26 of which as well as 2 further educational institutes were finally chosen as EXPO schools. On the 16th of January 1998 the Johanneum was awarded the certificate "EXPO School" by the minister of culture of Lower Saxony Prof. Rolf Wernstedt and representatives of the EXPO GmbH in a festive ceremony.

tab The topic

The titel of our school's project is Nature as an invention of man. This topic, "invented" by StR Alfred Blohm is so universal that it is possible for all subjects to contribute to it in numerous ways. In order to develop specific projects, annah "Idea competition" for pupils was started in December 1997. Many interesting ideas had been developed in that competition, the best of which were awarded prices. In January 1998 a meeting of the heads of the departments took place, where the guiding principles (meaning the compulsory lesson contents for all years) were compared to the pupils' ideas. On the departmental conferences in February 1998 the EXPO 2000 was also subject to discussions, some projects could hence even be started in that year.

Further suggestions can be obtained from the nahOutline of arrangements.

tab New ways of learning

During the summer 2000 we have to organise an exhibition illustrating our topic "Nature as an invention of man". This means presenting the results of two and a half years of work to public. Our work on several separate projects has four most important aims:

1. Working on certain contents from the general outline NATURE - MANKIND - TECHNOLOGY that we are concerned with.

2. The project is supposed to base on a greater variety of educational methods amongst which project - orientated learning is to name, a teaching method in which pupils can take greater responsibility in planning and organising their own lessons and hence also for their own learning process. This approach is based on acknowledging that pupils are generally able to work together and to democratically participate in the lessons as well as increasing their knowledge independently.

3. Working on the topics should be as interdisciplinary as possible. The relations of the separate disciplines are to be made visible.

4. Lessons are to be opened to the outside world. Encountering nature, but also external institutions such as the university, the public library, the schools' biology centre, museums, firms, the municipal government are to gain an increased influence on the pupils' learning processes.

Although these aspects are certainly not new, there is one major difference to our school's previous situation: Since we have the obligation to present results of our work in the year 2000, we have to precede in a planned and well-structured way. So far, projects or interdisciplinary lessons hace been scarce and occured rather "by chance", dependant mostly upon individual personal effort. It is going to be discussed in the near future which subjects, contents, years and which specific classes are most suitable for realising these concepts.

In other words: Our aim in participating in the EXPO 2000 is definitely not to eliminate the former lesson contents and structures , but to add other and more up-to-date methods of learning. At the same time it becomes clear that in the following two and a half years the EXPO topic is not going to be our only concern. It will certainly play a major role, but normal lessons will obviously have to continue since syllabuses will have to be covered exams will have to be written. And pupils will have to be well-prepared for these. Interdisciplinary learning will be an important goal, but "normal" lessons are not to lose any of their relevance.

tab Presentation

During the course of the EXPO in summer 2000, the public can visit the probably transformed school building and the school grounds. They will be presented with an exhibition of our project, including a professional exhibition, a film, several platform discussions,various theatre, music and cabaret performances, a contribution in the internet, and a CD-ROM.

tab Final remarks

There have been several negative press publications about the EXPO recently, leading to the question why the Johanneum is still participating in the program.
Participating in the EXPO 2000 does in my opinion have two major advantages for the school's development:

1. EXPO schools are supported by the county of Lower Saxony financially as well as personally. In the times of low budgets this is an aspect which cannot be regarded high enough.

2. The "obligation" to present results of the work does provide a greater degree of commitment than an informal "self obligation" probably would.

It should also be mentioned here that our efforts are not going to terminate with the year 2000. In my opinion this represents the start of an development, in which the "learning of learning" will play an important role. Nowadays, knowledge changes and increases rapidly over the years and it has become increasingly important to not only have knowledge, but also to be able to increase one's knowledge independently and competent (i.e. without the help of others). This abililty has become of increased importance in jobs, and a school's obligation is to prepare its pupils adequately.

The latest developments of our EXPO project are going to be added to this page from time to time.


Peter H. Nissen, headmaster
Tranlated by Rosa Lou Freund, stud. math., Abi 97

obenAutor:  Peter H. Nissen, headmaster  date: April 98. last update 08. August 2002
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