week 1-2

Introduction to Sustainable Development The introduction input to sustainable development was refreshing in the sense that it didn’t tackle aims that were directly for children or how it could improve a classroom. This module touched on the environment and learning for sustainability, and although it doesn’t link to how it can benefit a child, it … Continue reading week 1-2

Introduction to Sustainable Development
The introduction input to sustainable development was refreshing in the sense that it didn’t tackle aims that were directly for children or how it could improve a classroom. This module touched on the environment and learning for sustainability, and although it doesn’t link to how it can benefit a child, it also extends wider to the benefits to the community and global community in terms of providing health benefits and better use of green space. In regard to today’s current events in which the Amazon Rainforest has made many appearances on the news and climate change has taken the attention of many leaders. This module allows us as learners to understand how to care for the environment on a minuscule scale that can have powerful impact if done as a community (recycling). In aspect of this module that I hadn’t quite expected was how it can be socially rewarding, I always took being Eco friendly to always having environmental impacts, but never experimented on how it can bring together a community.  As informative as this input was as a learner, links were still made  to how it relates to teaching and how children  must learn about the earth and understand how to care for it, because Climate change not only affects us but it will affect them too.

Diversity
A topic that is not only vital to acknowledge in a school environment but in all aspects of ones life. Diversity is the key to accepting change and embracing differences. In today’s input diversity was challenged in a classroom environment and how it could raise issues.
In order to assess the task in a different manner, Andrew suggested that as a class we acted out situations that could arise due to diversity within a classroom, and the stereotypes that surround minority groups. Hesitant and first and unsure of the medium, we discussed several stereotypes. Personally being of a ethical minority some of the stereotypes were target at my faith, and although feeling quite targeted I had to remind myself that this activity wasn’t about me. It was, as a class to understand that these enactments actually happen in many children’s life’s, and I can verify this as I myself have experienced several encounters that were based on stereotypes. I understood stereotypes were generally based on ignorance and lack of knowledge on ones faith or ethnicity, so looking at this from a teachers perspective, the clear solution  would be to to educate. Educate children from as early as primary one that not everyone is the same, we may come from different places, we may dress differently and eat different things, but that does not and should not mean that we must be treated different. Every child has the right to learn. No child is better or lesser due to their background and financial status. As teachers, in order to avoid discrimination in the classroom we must teach our children the beauty of diversity.

Diversity

Before starting this module, I was anxious of what it would it would entail; in school science was a very hard topic for myself. I was never confident or certain of this subject so it was interesting to see if this module would change my opinion. In the lecture the main discussion point was “what … Continue reading Diversity

Before starting this module, I was anxious of what it would it would entail; in school science was a very hard topic for myself. I was never confident or certain of this subject so it was interesting to see if this module would change my opinion. In the lecture the main discussion point was “what does sustainability mean in a single word?” many people commented eco, recycling, preventing, save and future. Sustainability is about empowerment and getting everyone to do their part for a better future.

During the 1st science input, this was about biodiversity it carried out serval science experiments. One of these were using leave rubbing and bark markings to determine different types of plantations. This was very enjoyable because it was simple and could be used with very young children as easy to see the biodiversity in different species of plants and trees. Another experiment was snails on different textures. Children would really benefit from a science experiment like this as it was unique and really fascinating.  Flower dissecting was also used this is to determine a flowers anatomy. This would be good for children as it is interdisciplinary learning it builds upon fine motor skills as well as biodiversity.

WOSDEC- is a group of external educators who specialise in global citizenship and learning for sustainability gave a workshop about creating sustainability. WOSDEC explained the idea of that learning for sustainability is many factors it not about just ‘recycling’. It is more than this (see picture below).

(WOSDEC, 2019)

Leaning for sustainability is about children’s rights, outdoor learning and so much more. This changed my mindset completely from this mind map; before seeing this, I didn’t really know what sustainability was but now I have a further understanding of what this entails. From this the speakers moved onto the 17 global goals. They explained that these goals were not yet attainable, but it was a vision to strive for in the future. An example of one of the goals is zero hunger (The Global Goals, 2019).

For information on global goals for children ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBxN9E5f7pc )

(YouTube, 2019)

One of the graduate attributes I think I have developed from these workshops is being culturally aware. These workshops made me realise what sustainability really was and how as an individual I can make a difference. Another attribute I discovered with biodiversity was creativity. From the workshops I discovered innovative ways of showing diversity. This made me feel so much more at ease about teaching science and I could use my creative flow to demonstrate different ways of understanding a topic.

Culture diversity was the second input received at university. This was a very thought provoking lecture. This lecture dived into deep controversial issues such as values, gender, race, sexuality and religion.  The class identified what this means in 2019 and spoke of definitions. The lecturer then posed controversial questions to each of the groups, one of the questions was-

“Should all public buildings include gender neutral bathrooms?”

It was very interesting to hear ranges of perspectives from different ranges of people to all of the questions in the class. The importance was as a teacher we should not enforce our opinions towards children. When entering a classroom, it should remain unbiased by a teacher as well as being open minded for differences. This allows children to make more informed decisions. Stereotyping was the next issue in the lecture. It identified particular groups previously who have been prejudiced for stereotypes such as Jewish people, gay people and poverty stricken individuals.

For videos on diversity and why it is needed in a society see this video below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/znbrpg8/articles/zhvtcqt

 

It was further identified that not all people mean to stereotype. Prejudice and stereotyping can come from a place of ignorance. As teachers it is our duty make children more socially aware and culturally aware about these types of issues. Educating children about being prejudice is so important as this can transition, and children can help parents and elders be more informed and politically correct about these controversial issues.

A graduate attribute I have developed from this input is firstly expanding on my culture awareness, but also being having emotional intelligence with this topic. Controversial issues can be very sensitive for some children therefore this topic should be covered in a careful manner.  This will deepen the culture awareness in the classroom setting as teachers are seen as role models and children will try and replicate. This also enhances the graduate attribute of gaining socially responsibility.

References

BBC Bitesize. (2019). Living in a diverse society. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/znbrpg8/articles/zhvtcqt [Accessed 19 Sep. 2019].

Robertson, J. (2019). WOSDEC Global Learning Centre – Working to promote social justice through education. [online] Wosdec.org.uk. Available at: http://www.wosdec.org.uk/ [Accessed 19 Sep. 2019].

The Global Goals. (2019). The Global Goals. [online] Available at: https://www.globalgoals.org/ [Accessed 19 Sep. 2019].

 

YouTube. (2019). The World’s Largest Lesson. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBxN9E5f7pc [Accessed 19 Sep. 2019].

Sustainable Development

  Prior to starting this course my knowledge of sustainable development was very limited. These first two inputs have allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of what it is and how significant my role as a teacher is in educating children about sustainable development. I was introduced to the seventeen global goals and discussed …

Continue reading “Sustainable Development”

 

Prior to starting this course my knowledge of sustainable development was very limited. These first two inputs have allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of what it is and how significant my role as a teacher is in educating children about sustainable development. I was introduced to the seventeen global goals and discussed the importance of learning for sustainability in schools.

Teachers who have taught sustainable development have stated that on top of making children more aware of what is happening in the world it also “LfS significantly enhances relationships, the sense of community spirit, parental engagement and the reputation of their establishment.” (Vision 2030). In the first session we received a presentation from two ladies from Working to promote social justice through education (WODSEC). This session helped educate me on how sustainable development is a crucial subject to teach in primary schools and the benefit it has on children and society. By teaching children about sustainability, we are shaping them to become global citizens who are aware of what is happening in the world and the role they play in it. We also discussed in groups how children can use the knowledge they gain from Learning for Sustainability (LfS) to go home and educate their parents. The first session was a great way to begin this learning journey for me, it made me aware of the endless benefits of both learning and teaching this subject can bring to the classroom.
In session two we completed three activities and discussed the importance of different learning styles in the classroom. The first activity involved being outdoors in groups and taking rubbings from trees and leaves using crayon and seeing what different designs we could get.

When we were outside my group and I discussed some benefits and challenges of outdoor learning, some of the biggest challenges we discussed are; setting boundaries and children may see this as more of an opportunity for play and misbehave. However, we all agreed that the pros outweigh the cons. Pupils become more attentive outdoors as its more enjoyable than the conventional class setting and it allows children to relate learning to the real world (Waite, 2017). Outdoor learning is something that I completely advocate and will use at any given opportunity as a teacher. The other two activities we took part in were science-based experiments on living things. This involved snails and flowers.

Our snail experiment involved placing a snail on different pieces of material and judging the speed the snail moved at on each piece of material.

Teaching science in schools is very important as it allows children to develop certain skills that are required to cope in such a fast pace world, as well give them a deeper understanding of global issues like pollution and renewable energy (Harlen, Qualter,2014). After reading about the importance of science in the classroom and realising how well it ties in with learning for sustainability, I will be putting it into practice in the classroom.
On week two, we discussed some controversial topics surrounding diversity and social equality such as race, gender and religion and the stereotypes that come with each topic. When we were discussing stereotypes, we were asked to act them out, my group picked the biggest stereotype associated with Muslims today which is that they are all terrorists. Educating children about diversity is an incredibly important duty for teachers especially when we live in such a diverse world. Children must know how they can respect every humans’ rights. As a student teacher I believe my role is to try my best to educate children about social inclusion by giving them the tools and information so that they can learn to respect people of all different; genders, ethnicities, religion, ability and cultures. (The Scottish government, 2012) highlights this “Curriculum for Excellence challenges schools and communities to develop children and young people as responsible citizens who show respect for others; who understand different beliefs and cultures; and who are developing informed, ethical views of complex issues. Children and young people need to know why discrimination is unacceptable and how to challenge it. They need to understand the importance of celebrating diversity and promoting equality.”

References
Scottish Government (2016) Vision 2030+: Concluding Report of the National Learning for Sustainability National Implementation Group. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/Documents/res1-vision-2030.pdf [Accessed 24 September 2019]
Harlen, W. , Qualter, A. (2014) The Teaching of Science in Primary Schools. [Online] Available: Dawsonera. [Accessed 23 September 2019].
Waite, S. (2017) Children Learning Outside the Classroom: From Birth to Eleven. [Online] Available: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sPf-DQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=outdoor+learning+primary+school&ots=Xpyx8SLZb3&sig=gzRMkUKuDBkDZneyseetlF9tcyI#v=onepage&q=outdoor%20learning%20primary%20school&f=false [Accessed 23 September 2019].