Exposystem Johanneum on the EXPO 2000 Alphabetical Index unten
Nature as an invention of man
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Introduction to the Johanneum

the way it sees itself

as an EXPO school

with its specific projects

It is hence striving to realize: education, virtue, humanity
Our question is: What school does the future of our world need?

The Johanneum was founded in 1406 by the rich salt city Lüneburg as a public Latin school. Further information about the school's history can be obtained from the chronicles.
Classical languages are still part of the Johanneum's curriculum, while the school does nowadays just as well emphasise the importance of modern languages and sciences.
Almost 700 pupils are taught by about 60 teachers. The schools profile is currently dominated by the numerous exchange programs with partner schools in England, France and Poland, a very successful "Jugend Forscht" (a German science competition) club, systematic advice on careers, an efficient strategy of saving energy, the qualification as a "European Environment School" and an energetic Friends of the Johanneum Association.

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The Johanneum as an EXPO school

In order to become an "EXPO School" the Johanneum has had to submit a project theme which it wishes to develop in a number of ways, both educational and environmental. The project theme chosen was "Die Natur als Erfindung des Menschen", or "Nature as an Inven-tion of Man", The project takes as its premise the idea that human beings regard nature in many different ways: as a living organism ("Mother Nature"), as a creation of God, and as a mechanism which can be researched and controlled. Nature can further be seen as a source of raw materials and capital. Working from this basis the project aims to look at ways in which humans use nature; how they exploit nature to the detriment of other creatures, other human beings and future generations, and how they often regard nature as a part of a world which surrounds them and not necessarily as a part of their own world. Working on these topics means to improve education and individual learning, but also to in-troduce learning in projects and a large number of new teaching skills.

Peter H. Nissen

"Nature as an invention of man" A project in connection with new ways of learning

What does this topic mean?

Man promotes agriculture. Man cultivates gardens.
Man dams rivers. Man forms landscapes.
Man clones sheep. Man builds dams and channels.
Man sees nature as God's creation. Man splits atoms.
Man distinguishes between the natural and the unnatural. Man sees nature as a resource.
Man models nature. Man draws a boarderline between nature and culture.

Man does not only find nature as it is, he does also invent nature in many varying ways.
Taking a comprehensive view on nature does demand  

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And our concrete plans?

  • Planning, realisation and documentation (by a CD-ROM and a website in the internet) of projects
  • Preparation of a obligatory "Charta" concerning all groups participating in the school life, mostly with contributions from the pupils
  • Transformation of parts of the school building and the school grounds
  • Expanding the school's information technology equipment
  • Basic information technology lessons for all pupils
  • Exchange about the EXPO project with our foreign partner schools
  • Lecture program with former pupils of the Johanneum
  • Organisation of a congress on education in October 2000 and presentation of the projects' results

It is hoped that discussions will take place in Lüneburg in September of this year with repre-sentatives of the Johanneum's partner schools in England, Sweden, France and Poland meet-ing together, after which students will work on joint projects, the results of which will be on display to a large international audience of up to 40 million visitors of the prestigious EXPO 2000 World Exhibition which will take place in Hannover, Germany for 153 days from June 1 to October 31, 2000 and will include contributions by over 180 countries.

For more than two years students at the Johanneum have been working on the development of a web-site for the EXPO - project so that progress may be viewed by a larger public and may allow students to communicate directly with their counterparts in the other European coun-tries.

Peter H. Nissen

Tranlated by Rosa Lou Freund, stud. math., Abi 97 (except the text in boxes).

obenAuthor:  The project's chairman Alfred Blohm    date: May 98. last update 09. April 2000
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