Week 5 and 6: Interdependence

During these 2 weeks the focus was on interdependence and what it means. Interdependence is the way that two or more living things rely on each other to be able to remain healthy and grow, for example cows and their farmers are interdependent as the cows rely on the farmer to feed them and give […]

During these 2 weeks the focus was on interdependence and what it means. Interdependence is the way that two or more living things rely on each other to be able to remain healthy and grow, for example cows and their farmers are interdependent as the cows rely on the farmer to feed them and give them a safe environment while the farmer relies on the cow for milk or meat to make an income. We visited two farms to give us a better understanding of this (explained further down). Interdependence is split into 3 categories:

  • Environmental (the one we focused on) – ideas such as every species has a function to fulfill in sustaining the web of life
  • social – ideas such as the worldwide demand for market access
  • economical – ideas such as the global market and trading

I have linked a video that I would show a class when teaching interdependence to deepen their understanding of the definition and to allow them a more visual perspective which they may be able to relate to.

We visited two farms on week 5 to widen our understanding of interdependence and to allow us to see it in action. the two farms were very different from each other but both fulfilled the same role, producing milk.

The first farm was Mossgiel Farm, a small organic farm near Mauchline. It was small and made up with 2 sheds for the cows and a family home. It felt welcoming and all the workers seemed happy to be there. The farmer who owned the farm, Bryce, started of by telling us about the farms history and how it had came to be what it was today. He was very passionate when explaining to us about being an organic farm and how his cows are fed grass and allowed to roam the fields. Then we got to see the cow shed and the milking parlour as well as the area where the milk is produced. This let us understand interdepence as the cows eat the grass which helps them produce organic, high quality milk which is then bottled and sent to shops for customers to buy. The customers need the milk to give them their intake of nutrients such as calcium but the cows need the customers to buy the milk or they wouldn’t need to be milked which can cause the cow harm. This farm also seemed very responsible for the cows welfare and allowed calves to have a relationship with their mum and they did not remove their horns to see if they gave the cows more personality, the cows were only milked 1 to 2 times a day. I found this farm very interesting and it gave me a clearer idea of where my dairy products come from and a sense of gratefulness for the work that everyone does to allow us to have these products. I think this is important for me to understand as a teacher so that I can explain to pupils the importance of interdependence and where their food comes from. This would link in with “I have observed living things in the environment over time and am becoming aware of how they depend on each other.” SCN 0-01a, as the pupils could be involved with a trip to the farm to see the processes and interdependence in play.

The second farm was Strandhead Farm, a large technologically advanced farm near Tarbolton. It was very different to the first farm, it was drastically bigger and everything from feeding the cows to cleaning the floors was carried out by robots. The cows were kept inside at all times to make sure they ate enough in order to be milked 5 to 6 times a day. Calves were removed from their mothers very soon after birth and placed in a small pen (image below). I understood the need for the robots due to the larger area and more cows but I didn’t like the idea of the cows not being allowed outside and this definitely gave me more knowledge about where my dairy comes from (which is something I hadn’t really thought about before) and allowed me to think more critically off it which is a UWS Graduate Attribute. the farmer did say that the cows were well looked after and had everything they needed but I think I preferred the more organic approach. An experience and outcome that this visit with pupils could have would be “I understand how local shops and services use technologies to provide us with what we need and want in our daily lives.” TCH 0-07a, as the children can see the technology being used within this farm to produce milk that they can then buy.

I think its important to show pupils the contrasting farming environments to understand interdependence and the different forms it can take as well as broadening their understanding of where their products come from and the different farms that there is.

After looking at the UWS Graduate Attributes and reflecting on this experience, for me as a learner I feel like I gained more knowledge as I didn’t fully understand the term ‘interdependence’ but now I do. It also allowed me to become more of a critical thinker in terms of how the cows were reared and were the food and drinks I am consuming actually come from and what I think is right and wrong. From a teaching perspective I think the skills such as being more knowledgeable and critically thinking are important as a teacher, as well as a learner, but I also feel more ethically aware after the farm visits and I think that’s important in a classroom as it allows for discussion (similar to critical thinking) to what might be right or wrong.

I enjoyed the farm visit and look forward to teaching, in the future, similar ideas to this one on interdependence.

Interdependence

Over the last two weeks we have been looking at interdependence. Interdependence in its simplest form is the way in which two or more people or things depend on each other. Interdependence is split into three areas; economic, social and environmental. Economic interdependence is related to the global stock market and trading, and how we, …

Continue reading “Interdependence”

Over the last two weeks we have been looking at interdependence. Interdependence in its simplest form is the way in which two or more people or things depend on each other. Interdependence is split into three areas; economic, social and environmental. Economic interdependence is related to the global stock market and trading, and how we, as a country, are impacted by the value of other currencies, products and jobs in other countries. Social interdependence, because of technology and social media, is increasing. With most of the major media outlets being in the USA or Europe, American and European cultures and values are being spread throughout the world and impact on other cultures. It also means that the wants of those around the world are becoming increasingly similar and are allowing the economy to grow and feed on itself (Higgins, 2013). Environmental interdependence is something increasingly in the front of people’s minds with climate change invoking protests and political action. The biggest thing, in my opinion, that we need to be aware of is that pollution  is not confined to one country or one area it is a worldwide issue. We also have to be aware that habitats and animals that are endangered in one place have an effect on the world as a whole. We can see the impact of all three of these areas if we look at them in terms of the farms we visited and the sustainable fishing infographic we created.

We visited two dairy farms; an organic farm and an intensive farm. Economically the intensive farm had a bigger impact as they sold to supermarkets, however, the organic farm may also have an impact as they sell their milk for a greater price but sell to a smaller consumer base. This also links to the social aspect of interdependence as more people are looking to eat organic food and drinks, and are against intensive farming. This is something that couple be seen within my peer group when we were at the farm as many people comment that they did not like how the cows and calves were being kept and were shocked when told that the cows were milked up to five times a day. The other thing impacting farming in general, from the social side, is the approximate 542,000 vegan that live in Great Britain (The Vegan Society, 2016 cited in BBC, 2018). This is decreasing the sales of milk and other dairy products which has an impact economically as well as socially. Dairy farming does have a huge environmental impact. According to WWF (2019) “Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Poor handling of manure and fertilizers can degrade local water resources.” Unsustainable farming, including the production of feed, can also impact the environment through the loss of habitats, such as prairies, wetlands and forests.

The organic farm:

  

 

The intensive farm:

 

Sustainable fishing also impacts these three areas of interdependence. As a group we researched these three areas and made an infographic.

When we went to the farms I was rather apprehensive as I did not know what to expect and what condition the cows would be kept in. I loved the way the organic farm was run and how they kept the cows and treated them. However, I, along with a number of my peers, had a couple issues with how the intensive farm was run. We found that the cows were hardly ever outside a difficult concept to grasp and that they were milked up to five times a day compared to the organic farms one. This experience though made me more aware of the importance of educating children about where there food comes from. Children need to be able to make informed decisions about what food they want to eat, where that foods comes from and how it is made.

When reviewing my visits to the farm I developed my critical thinking skills and worked on becoming more ethically-minded as I had to really but into perspective of how I want the farms to be run and how that impacts my choices and decisions, and how it impacts the choices and decisions of others. For example, I would love to be able to support organic farming but, as a full time student with a limited income, I can not afford to buy exclusively organic products. I also came to the opinion from these visits, from research and other experiences in the past, that if someone is becoming vegan or vegetarian to protect animals from cruelty, they should consider trying to support the farms that do rear animals the way they like instead of cutting off everything but I’m also aware that, for the same reasons as I have, that this is not possible for everyone.   Through this I also believe I worked on “critically examining [my] personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenging assumptions and professional practice” which is one of the professional values under the GTCS Standards for Registration.

Resources

https://www.rhet.org.uk/teachers/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cjyykdwmw58t/uk-climate-change-protests

http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/the-standards/standards-for-registration-1212.pdf

https://fishandkids.msc.org/en/teachers/teachers-pack-1


References

Higgins, K (2013) Economic Growth and Sustainability – are they mutually exclusive? [Online] Available: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/economic-growth-and-sustainability-are-they-mutually-exclusive [Accessed: 20 October 2019]

Jones, L (2018) Veganism: Why is it on the up? [ Online] Accessed: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/business-4448805/  [Accessed: 21 October 2019]

WWF (2019) Sustainable Agriculture: Dairy [Online] Accessed: https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/dairy [Accessed: 21 October 2019]

Interdependence

This week we focused on interdependence, which Collins (2019) describes as groups of people or things that relying on each other. https://youtu.be/4FdwZK6pL1M In session one we visited two cattle farms that have very different processes of producing milk. Strandhead Farm never let the cows outside and kept them all together in large groups. Keeping the …

Continue reading “Interdependence”

This week we focused on interdependence, which Collins (2019) describes as groups of people or things that relying on each other.
https://youtu.be/4FdwZK6pL1M

In session one we visited two cattle farms that have very different processes of producing milk. Strandhead Farm never let the cows outside and kept them all together in large groups.

Keeping the cows indoors allowed the farmers to be more in control of the cow’s diets by tracking their eating habits using a robotic machine that fed them. This machine collected data on the different groups and what diet would benefit the cow to produce the most milk.


This farm was reliant on this machine to ensure all the cows had the diet they needed to produce lots of milk. This links in with interdependence as this farm is heavily dependent on technology to ensure that the cows get the right amount of food to make the most milk. The cows eat cereal within their diet to boost milk production. All the cows at this farm are artificially inseminated so never get to naturally have calves and when they give birth the calves are taken away immediately. This farm forced me to see the sad reality that some cow’s live. When it comes to milking the cows, it is very military operation, they all stand in line and wait their turn getting milked from a machine.

Although the farm insisted that this lifestyle was ‘happy and healthy’ for these cows and that this way of farming produces the best milk, I wanted to do my own research. Macintyre (2008) stated that studies have shown that cows who eat the outdoor grass and clover, produce more antioxidants and vitamins – for example they produce 33 percent more vitamin E- than cows that eat food that is processed. This meaning the milk production at Stranhead Farm may not be of the best quality. The General Teaching Council (2019) highlights the importance of having the ability to critically question and interrogate which was the skills I used when researching for fresh information before forming my overall opinion on this method of farming. Strengthening my knowledge is vital as when I have my own classroom It is incredibly important to use these skills so that I know the information I present to the children is unbiased and fully informative.
The Mossgiel Farm has been passed down three generations. It is an organic farm which is more sustainable than the first farm. Soil association (2019) highlights that if half of the farming industry in the EU were to go Organic by 2030, they would cut European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 23%. The cows on this farm can roam more freely and are on a complete grass diet which as stated before produces a better quality of milk however the milk production is much slower than that of cows who have cereal in their diet.

This farm relied solely on individuals buying their milk as they do not produce enough to be major suppliers for stores. This links with interdependence as the farm is dependent on their regulars purchasing their milk to make profit. At milking time, the cows are separated into groups of personality bossy, mediocre and timid to make the milking procedure more comfortable for them. When a cow gives birth, the calf can stay with its mother and drink her milk. The farmer stated that only nine farms in Scotland operate this way.
This experience really benefited me as a student teacher by educating me about the different ways that the milk I drink is produced. A trip like this would be a great benefit for primary children. At the second farm a woman from the Royal Highland Education Trust spoke to us about her positive experiences taking children on trips like this and how important it is to be outdoors. These types of outdoor learning experiences educate children on where their food comes from and how animals are treated. Education Scotland (2019) states that outdoor learning allows children to make connections with the real world by learning in a more natural and relaxed environment. Reflecting on my pre-University experiences of outdoor learning and comparing them with the ones I have experienced in university thus far; I have a newfound appreciation for outdoor learning. I am becoming more aware of the importance of outdoor learning by doing my own research into policy and practise which signifies the endless benefits it has on children’s development and education. I know it deserves a critical place in the curriculum as it allows children to develop resilience, strengthen knowledge of the wider world around them, enhance problem solving skills and build confidence in a real-life context.

 

Education Scotland. (2019) Outdoor Learning Practical guidance, ideas and support for teachers and practitioners in Scotland. [Online] Available : https://education.gov.scot/improvement/documents/hwb24-ol-support.pdf [Accessed: 21 October 2019
General Teaching Council for Scotland. (2019) Overview of the Standards. Available: https://www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-standards/engaging-with-the-standards/overview-of-the-standards.aspx [Accessed: 21 October 2019].
Harper, C. (ed.) (2019) COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary [Online] Available: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/interdependence [Accessed 22 October 2019]
Macintyre, J. (2008) Cows That Eat Outdoor Produce Healthier Milk. The Independent. [Online] 21 October, non-paginated. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/cows-that-eat-outdoors-produce-healthier-milk-835188.html [Accessed: 21 October 2019].
Soil Association. (2019) Why is organic better for the planet? [Online] Available: https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/why-organic/better-for-the-planet/ [Accessed: 21 October 2019].

 

Climate Change

Climate change is the one subject that everyone worldwide is talking about right now, we are surrounded by stories on social media, newspapers and TV which made this input very interesting for me. The lecture allowed me to gain some insight in what climate change is, the evidence for it and how it is affecting …

Continue reading “Climate Change”

Climate change is the one subject that everyone worldwide is talking about right now, we are surrounded by stories on social media, newspapers and TV which made this input very interesting for me. The lecture allowed me to gain some insight in what climate change is, the evidence for it and how it is affecting our world. Nasa (2019) stated that the temperature of the world has increased by 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century which has been caused by a rise in CO2 and other emissions. We discussed this evidence for climate change in the lecture and my group went on to further discuss this change in temperature has had drastic knock on effects to the world’s agriculture, weather, plants and animals and sea level. My peers and I also discussed what we thought this meant for our future and how things will only become worse. Nasa (2019) states that in the future there will be an increase in droughts and heat waves, the sea level will rise between one to four feet in eighty years and the artic is likely to become ice free. When I was reading more into the future effects of climate change it was clear just how vital my role as a student teacher is. I must educate children about their future and the consequences that follow if we do not become more environmentally and socially aware of the detrimental actions we are having on our world. Gaining this understanding will benefit me a lot in the future when I am a teacher as I now know the incredible importance of sustainable living.
In our first seminar we discussed how as student teachers we must be educated so that we can empower the young people we work with to live a more sustainable life. Our job as future teachers is to give children all the knowledge we can and let them form their own opinion and view, in the hope that they do good with what they have learnt. The General Teaching Council (2019) highlights the importance of having a deep and critical professional knowledge and understanding, I believe I have been furthering this skill by reading more into climate change thus allowing myself to deepen my existing understanding and knowledge on the topic. By deepening my self-education, I am allowing myself to give children greater understanding of this issue.
In our second seminar we began to explore the different skills that are developed when teaching science such as problem solving, collaboration, analytical, and research. We took part in different science experiments and activities that link in with climate change. One activity that I enjoyed taking part in and would use in a classroom setting was the Blome Survival Activity. (The worksheet below)
  
This was an enjoyable activity to take part in and allowed the group to use skills listed above. This task Is a great way for children to broaden their knowledge about different parts of the world and develop their skills. This could be linked with climate change by adding questions to the worksheet like: How will climate change affect this country/rain forest/desert? What are some of the ways we can stop this from happening?
I was shocked by my carbon footprint quiz results as they were much higher than I had anticipated. My carbon footprint was around double what the average persons should be in all aspects. Regarding my food consumption I have decided to take on the recommendations and reduce my meat and dairy consumption to around half of my existing habits. This has been something I have always considered and after reading the large affect it has on the environment, I will be putting a new plan into action. It is crucial that if I am teaching my future classroom ways that they can reduce their carbon footprint that I too also make changes within my lifestyle. The documentary educated me a lot on the different ways that they test how climate change is affecting the Antarctic it was also very interesting to see the impact that it is having on the air, sea life and the glaciers.
References
General Teaching Council for Scotland. (2019) Overview of the Standards. Available: https://www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-standards/engaging-with-the-standards/overview-of-the-standards.aspx [Accessed: 10 October 2019]
Nasa. (2019) Climate Change: How Do We Know? [Online] Available: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ [Accessed: 10 October 2019].
Nasa. (2019) The Effects of Climate Change. [Online] Available: https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/ [Accessed: 10 October 2019].