Sustanaible Development Task

During your eight serial days, you should gather this information, by observing, speaking to class teachers and other colleagues, interacting with learners, reading school policies, and any other appropriate activities.  You should consider and identify the most appropriate ways(s) to record this information.

  • Mapping of school grounds/area.

  • Evidence of existing engagement with sustainable education within the school such as garden area, recycling bins, litter picking ‘wardens’, bird boxes, and so on.

Children have different recycling bins at the classroom to different recycling materials.

There are different recycling bins at the canteen to separate recycling materials from the organic litter.

Every week one of the pupils is awarded for being the most involved in the environment.

There are posters in class promoting the sustainable environment and giving the advice to achieve it.

In the bathrooms, there are posters in which remind children stuff like turning off the tap when it is not necessary.

  • Consideration of actual play space for children and its suitability.

The playground has a grass area where children can play and go around there

  • Discussion with children on these aspects of sustainable education.

Every week children of different levels do a task in which they have to think and discuss between them about any issue and a couple of weeks ago they had to think about how the school could be improved to achieve a more sustainable development.

Children told me that some weeks they focus on the topic of sustainable development to learn more about it.

Children study it more in-depth in Science subject

Diversity

Diversity is a range of different things exist around us. Everything/everybody is different from the rest because it has its own identity, characteristics and needs. It is what makes society be enriching because no every living is equal to other. Diversity can be explained in two different aspects, biodiversity and cultural diversity.

Biodiversity is the variety of life. It makes reference of nature where there is a diversity of varieties, species, habitats and ecosystems that exist around us. Scotland’s biodiversity is special because there are around 90.000 different species because of the variety of habitats and scenery. The causes of this may be explained by the weather, characterized by being a wet weather and a great range of geology and landforms, such as islands, mountains, plateaux, rivers… some symbols of Scottish culture are the eagle, deer, Scots Pine, red squirrel and more. Scotland is recognized by its clean air, clean water and wilderness areas, and for the biodiversity associated with these natural attributes. (Scottish Executive, 2004).

Biodiversity has an essential role in the world because it provides our food resources, medical discoveries and ecological services, because of this, every person must be taken care of it and collaborate to its conservation. It is important to explain that threats are caused mainly by human factors but they can be caused by natural factors as well, some of them are: residential and commercial development what affects natural spaces to promote tourism and create industrial areas; transport has a negative effects because of the construction of roads; biological resource use by collecting animals, gathering plants and harvesting tres; natural system modifications such as fire; pollution; climate change; geological events like volcanoes, tsunamis… Despite this, people may have an important role to promote its conservation. They can act in different ways to try to make disappear or at least reduce the biodiversity threats (Salafsky, N. et al., 2008) I think it is important to create awareness of this issue in schools to teach children that human being are not the only ones who live in the Earth, but there are more living beings and in fact they are crucial to our life and thus we have to conserve them as much as possible. It is essential to show children what is around them and the importance it has for us. It could be a good option to visit zoos with children to show them the different animals that exist, this is what teachers use to do, however, personally, it is not the best option. The best place to learn and understand what biodiversity is, is outdoors, in the forest or at the field, in this way children could make a connection between living beings and ecosystems and habitats. Outdoors, animals can be free, breathe fresh air and feed by themselves, what is known as the food chain, this is the most natural living process and what children should learn as biodiversity.

In relation to cultural diversity, is the whole of people who have different ethnic, race, skin colour, religion, sex, needs or sexual orientation. Different people, make an enrich society and everybody can learn from each other. Everybody has different characteristics, what makes people be different and unique in the world, however, sometimes society creates discrimination to them for being different from the rest. Racism is the discrimination to people who have different ethnic, race or skin colour, in spite of the fact a lot of years ago it existed in a higher level and nowadays the level of racism is lower, it still exists in society. The triracial system classifies traditional whites as the leaders, in the middle group of “honorary whites” and finally the “collective black” at the bottom. (Kim, Y. and Calzada, E. J., 2018). Nowadays, fortunately, my peers and young people understand in most of the cases that there’s no difference between races because all of us are people who have the same rights. For this, teachers haven’t to make difference between races, religions or skin colours because everybody is people who deserve respect and love. If an education promotes these values based on the respect, children won’t make exclusions in class or groups in the class according to the race, they will be nice with everybody and even they will feel proud of having a friend who is from a different country than his/hers. We have to remind that children will be what they learn in their education so it is essential to provide an education based on the respect above all.

The same occurs in terms of sexual orientation, people who have a different sexual orientation to heterosexual, such as bisexual and homosexual, suffer discrimination from society as well. It is the same problem as racism, years ago the homophobia was present every day, and nowadays although people started to accept it, there is still a lot of work to do to the complete acceptance. In the beginning, with the first homosexual rights movements in the late nineteenth century, there has been an effort to use scientific knowledge to emancipate homosexual men and women from legal punishment and medical treatment. (Minton, H. L., 2002) Despite this, I would like to highlight the evolution that society has made throughout years in relation to this issue because in early years punishment and treatments exist against this and now an open mind and acceptance from people exist. This is a poster that I found a couple weeks ago at the train, what promotes the respect for people who is homosexual and is an example of the evolution of society.

My peers, as the youngest people grew up being open minded because most of them know at least one person around them being homosexual and through their experience, they have realized any time how a person may feel if he/she is discriminated because of sexual orientation. They have lived this struggle in a closer way so they can empathize more with these people and understand them. Children will do as well if their parents participate in it. If teachers and parents teach children that love doesn’t have gender, they will understand it without any problem. They will understand love as a free feeling and even they will be able to feel and choose whatever the sexual orientation they want without any fear, unlike some years ago. They will learn that love is what really matters and not who you love.

According to generic skills, being analytical, critical thinker, collaborative and socially responsible is essential to achieve the aim of this issue. A teacher must analyse the situation in which society is to work on it, at the same time, critical thinking must be present in the class to develop thinking skills and learn from other thoughts as well, and finally, collaboration and responsibility are crucial to achieve the aim and improve what is not good enough yet. Children have to participate as a group team to reduce the problems still exist nowadays and learn that each action will have an effect. They will reflect on issues and what is around to have an analysis process.

In relation to the specific ones, the most important are:

2.1.1 Plan coherent, progressive teaching programmes which match their pupils’ needs and abilities, and justify what they teach.

2.1.2 Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons.

2.1.4 Set expectations and a pace of work which makes appropriate demands on all pupils.

2.1.5 Work effectively in co-operation with other professionals, staff and parents in order to promote learning

It essential to taking account the children needs and adapt the content for them, it is impossible to offer the same stuff for every child because they don’t have the same intellectual level either needs. On the contrary, children may feel undervalued and less skilled than others. Communication between teachers and pupils must be clear to have the main same message about what they have to work and learn, it is important using different resources to motivate them. The pace of work must be part of the learning process because this issue requires respect above all and responsibility to work. Children will feel that each participant is important and they are part of the working process. Finally, working with parents in a collaboratively way is essential to teach the values and skills must be provided in this issue. Work between parents and teachers must be related to each other to achieve the best results for the children. I am achieving these skills because a couple years ago I wasn’t aware of the importance the collaboration between teachers and parents, but throughout the last years, I have realized that is a crucial part of children education to achieve the best education as possible. Finally, these skills can be used in any other areas to have the best Maths or Language results if we collaborate with parents, use different media to motivate children and create a good atmosphere in class to make children work and help each other.

Scottish Executive. (2004) Scotland’s Biodiversity. It’s In Your Hands. [Moodle Resource] Available: Sustanaible Development. [Accessed 3 December 2018]

Salafsky, N. et al. (2008) A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation: Unified Classifications of Threats and Actions. Conservation Biology. [Online] 22(4), 879-911. Available: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00937.x [Accessed 3 December 2018]

Kim, Y. and Calzada, E. J. (2018) Skin Color and Academic Achievement in Young, Latino Children: Impacts Across Gender and Ethnic Group. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. [Online] Available: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&sid=f529b7fb-fa80-4860-bafa-c23d5f731193%40sessionmgr4010 [Accessed 3 December 2018]

Minton, H. L. (2002) Departing from Deviance: A History of Homosexual Rights and Emancipatory Science in America. [Online] Available: http://chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.7208/chicago/9780226304458.001.0001/upso-9780226530437

Climate change

Climate change consist of the changes appear in the environment in different ways. These changes may occur because of natural causes such as volcanic eruptions, ocean circulation, however, the changes are caused at a higher level by human influence. During the last 100 years, the Earth’s surfaces have warmed up on average by about 0.6 ºC. To explain this, we have to make reference to the Greenhouse Effect what is the main cause of climate change. It consists of the fact The Sun emits solar radiation to the Earth’s Surface and the atmosphere acts like the glass in a greenhouse trapping some of the long-wave radiation. This process makes the temperature rise in the atmosphere as it does in the greenhouse and it makes possible the life in the Earth, on the contrary, it would be too cold and no life would be possible. Greenhouse Effect requires carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour to happen, it wouldn’t be possible without these gases. The problem occurs when the greenhouse effect is enhanced because of the increase in carbon dioxide produced by humans and the temperature is more than normal. That increase of carbon dioxide is because of processes like the burning of fossil fuels and forest clearing. (Buchdahl, J., 2002)

The Earth’s Greenhouse Effect (Buchdahl, J., 2002)

The main effect of Climate Change in the UK is climate change. It is important to clarify that climate and weather are different terms. Climate describes weather patterns recorded throughout the years and weather describes what we experience daily, like temperature and wind. Therefore, climate change leads to an increase in the average temperature between 0.9 and 2.4 ºC what means there will be more dry summers and less extreme cold winters. According to precipitations, they are expected to increase in most areas. Thus, it will exist extreme climatic conditions such as drought and storms. Apart from this, we can find effects in other areas, such as oceans where global warming will accelerate the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antartica and finally these areas will disappear. Ecosystems and biodiversity will be affected in terms that habitats will be degraded and fragmented and some species will be in extinction because they can’t live in different conditions they are used to do. (Buchdahl, J., 2002). Forest tree species are affected and it provides habitat for numerous plants and animals. Thus, loss of the three species will affect all the species that make up a complex forest ecosystem. The survival of species during the climate change will largely depend on their ability to migrate. (Hardy, J.T., 2003). Finally, climate change has effects on human health as well: respiratory diseases because of air pollution, increased the risk of cancer due to stratospheric ozone depletion and malnutrition… (Buchdahl, J., 2002)

It is important, as teachers, to explain to the children what the problem is, how and why it occurs and the effects it may have because they need to know and be aware of the importance of this. The issue must be explained seriously, because it is something that has negative effects in the world, through different media and strategies, making use of news that show the reality of climate change and let them know that is something real and not just something appears in films. Despite this, we have to be aware of they are children and it can’t be a dramatic explanation, we don’t intend to scare them, on the contrary, it must be just a serious issue taking account previous consequences around the world to know about it and learn the main reasons why climate change exists is because of human impact in a high level. After this, children will have knowledge about what climate change is and why it occurs, and finally that the reduction of it just depends on their behaviour and collaboration in their daily activities. My peers had information about it and since the beginning, we all already knew that human behaviour has an important effect on this without any doubt. For this, they were aware of the change of activities and actions people should do to reduce the climate change level, in spite of the changes people are making nowadays, we still have a lot of work to do.

Once we know some information about this issue, we would have to look for solutions in our daily life to reduce the emission of dioxide of carbon and thus the climate change. For this, we have to make reference to the main causes of climate change produced by humans, the following figure is an example of a typical everyday life greenhouse gas emissions.

GHG emissions in a small German city (after Brohmann, 2002) (Soyez, K. and GraBl, H.,2008)

Reducing climate change may sound something difficult to achieve but it is really easy through simple actions through personal activities. These actions can be divided into different categories: Turn down, in terms of programming thermostat temperature low at night, reducing the temperature of your home by just 1ºC; Switch off, to switch to green electricity or to switch off your air conditioner when you are not at home; Activity, to air dry clothes naturally instead of using a tumble dryer, to switch off lights when you don’t need them, to use the washing machine only when it’s full, to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth; Recycle, to use a reusable bag when you go shopping, to buy big bottles rather than small ones, recycle your waste; Walk, to consider public transport, bicycling or walking instead of car to travel by your own. (Soyez, K. and GraBl, H., 2008)

We can promote these simple actions in school and make them part of the daily routine of children. We could do this in the most possible fun way and make a pattern to not forget any of them. It would be nice to have a reminder in class with some actions they can do in class and share roles in which each of them has an action to do every day of the week and then the roles would rotate every day between them to do the different actions each one. This activity would consist of participating in the different categories previously explained. For example, one of them, in which children must switch off or turn off technologies stuff (computer, printer, TV, lights, heating, digital board) once they have been used and they have to be sure it is not electricity being wasted; another activity could consist of checking children are recycling their rubbish using the proper bills. We could promote as well the use of public transport to go to school or just walking. Apart from this, other actions don’t depend on the children, however, they can encourage their parents to do them. In this way, children will learn about the issue and they will be able to participate in it to improve the situation that it is present nowadays.

According to generic skills to be collaborative, critical thinker, analytical, knowledgeable, motivated and influential are part of this issue. This is because collaboration must exist to make possible a change of thoughts and interact each other, to be a critical thinker and analytical is essential because climate change is something makes you think about the impact your behaviour may have and about new actions may improve the situation. Knowledge is crucial to understand this topic and to be able to change actions in our daily routine and as well to promote it to children. It wouldn’t be possible to teach this if the teacher doesn’t know about what he/she is talking about. Finally, motivation and influence are key skills because to reduce climate change and improve your action you must be motivated to do it and think of it as a challenge. The teacher must be influential as well to teach children the importance of changing actions and above all to teach that actions in the children routine.

In relation with specific skills I would say that the more important ones are:

2.1.2 Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons.

2.1.3 Employ a range of teaching strategies and justify their approach.

2.1.5 Work effectively in co-operation with other professionals, staff and parents in order to promote learning

That is because as I explained before, communication and variety of media provide a better and effective learning for children. At the same time, the resources used in class must stimulate pupils and motivate to learn and work on the topic and finally achieve the objectives. Different strategies of teaching are required to provide a good learning process and working with parents to promote learning is really effective for children. This is because the content they are learning is not just implemented in schools but at home and in the daily routine as well, in this way children will remember the contents and they will be able to make use of it in their pattern. From my experience, the participation of parents on children learning is crucial because it provides motivation for them and a new learning process for them. They will feel even more comfortable and personally it will be more effective for them. It can be applied in other areas such as Language or Maths in which parents may be involved in the learning process of the children and use daily contexts to teach children new contents. I am achieving these at a high level because I know from my own experience that children learning is better if different strategies and resources are used and finally the results are worthy. However, parents collaboration and participation with teachers is essential to achieve it.

Buchdahl, J. (2002) Climate change. [Moodle Resource] Available: Sustanaible Development. [Accessed 02 December 2018]

Buchdahl, J. (2002) The Earth’s Greenhouse Effect. [Moodle Resource] Available: Sustanaible Development. [Accessed 02 December 2018]

Hardy, J.T. (2003) Climate Change. Causes, Effects and Solutions [Online] Available: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=TKOhTRyFVIkC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=climate+change+causes&ots=DdyC97y74s&sig=cJJHMA489Yf-FiTJQtMjRrTnycg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false [Accessed 02 December 2018]

Soyez, K. and GraBl, H. (2008) GHG emissions in a small German city (after Brohmann, 2002). [Online] Available: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-211-78203-3.pdf [Accessed 02 December 2018]

Soyez, K. and GraBl, H. (2008) Climate Change and Technological Options. Basic facts, Evaluation and Practical Solutions. [Online] Available: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-211-78203-3.pdf [Accessed 02 December 2018]

Environment

The environment is everything around us. It consists of individuals, objects and elements influenced by the surrounding, thus it may be regarded as space where relationship and interactions between entities occur. People take care of it primarily because it furnishes us with resources. (Clayton, S. and Opotow, S., 2003) It is important to take care of it because, on the contrary, will appear facts such as contamination and global warm, what will affect our health and daily routine in future. Apart from this, it provides us and animals natural resources which make possible life on this planet so it is really important for us to maintain the environment the best as possible.

In relation to this, in class, we were outdoors to look for different plants and leaves. We visited the garden and the area around the uni because there is a lot of vegetation. We drew the shapes and the texture of the leaves, in consequence, we found different plants according to the size, the shape, the colour… we also put a paper above a trunk to draw its rugged texture. Thanks to this activity, we realized that it is possible to find several species of plants in a small area and it was really interesting to be able to touch them and appreciate the colours of them.

Then we went to class to observe snails in a box, we even could use a magnifying glass to see them closer and identify the parts of its body.


For me, it was very fun to know different plants that were around me at the same time it was possible to touch them. In this way, we could point out the parts of the plant and learn them. It is really interesting to have an outdoor space to learn contents because it is a place in where we are not costumed to do it. This broke the routine of learning in a classroom while we are listening to the teacher or reading stuff in the books, on the contrary, I think this promotes an autonomous learning for the children because they can learn by themselves using what is around them. Apart from this, it is as well a way of learning that catches the students/children attention and it is a more dynamical learning process because they can explore the natural environment. I am sure that children would have an effective learning because they would have fun in the garden. It is important to have different locations to learn because staying at the classroom all the time can be boring and a routine, thus they can know that it is possible to learn outdoors and they don’t relate the classroom as the only space to learn.
My peers had fun because we had photos and names of some plants, so we had to identify them at the garden by the colour, shapes and size. So the activity it was not only based on look plants but we had to look for some of them between different species and check if they were the same plant that we had on the photos. It was really interesting to learn different plants in that way because it was possible to interact with each other and share common ideas, so it promoted communication skills between them while they were learning.
It is essential to teach children to participate in the environment and made them aware of the impact that people has on it. “It is important to involve children in understanding and being to influence their own physical environment. We need children to become highly reflective, even critical participants in environmental issues in their own communities. We need them to think as well as act locally while also being aware of global issues.” (Satterthwaite, D. et al, 2014, p.6) For this, we as teachers could provide some activities or resources to let them participate in how to take care of the environment through simple actions. Different litters to different materials should be there in every class, children would learn that it is important to recycle and it would be easy to learn that the blue litter must be for paper, the green one for glass and the grey one for organic. Another activity could be planting a community garden where every child participates on planting herbs, fruit or vegetables, in this way children will learn how plants must be taken care.
According to generic skills in Primary teaching, being analytical, collaborative, socially responsible and motivated is part of this, because it is required to analyse the impact that people may have on the environment and the consequences that may exist after our actions. It is important to value actions we did before and change those which aren’t good to the environment. For this reason, we have to be responsible for our actions and behaviour and be aware of how can we act the best as possible. In this way, we have to think that every action it will have a consequence and it depends on us if that consequence is positive or negative. At the same time collaboration is crucial because it is needed to interact with people and act as a team to achieve the same objectives. Finally, motivation is part of this because we have the aim of maintaining the environment good so we have something to work on it and we can think of this as a challenge. Motivation requires an objective to achieve or a reason to act, on the contrary, we would act without aim and we weren’t too interested and motivated on it.
In relation to specific skills relevant, I think the most appropriate are the following ones.
2.1.2 Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons.
2.1.3 Employ a range of teaching strategies and justify their approach.
2.1.4 Set expectations and a pace of work which makes appropriate demands on all pupils.
They are important because stimulating pupils through different activities and media and using different teaching strategies makes an easier understanding for the children. At the same time, as I said before collaboration between children is required so it is necessary to have a good atmosphere in class to work to make possible a good communication and interaction and in this way they can improve the communication skills while they are learning. I think I am achieving in these in a high level because I was able to see the ease of learning using them and for the teacher it is fun as well to organize different activities and stuff to do to learn about any topic and personally, in my experience I saw how useful it is to promote learning activities in schools and makes children participate in the learning process. Experience is the best learning and I wouldn’t like to teach in such a boring way like my teachers did in my Primary Education class as a child. Despite this, it takes much more time to organize but I think finally it is worthy for children and teacher. Pace of work in the class is important because it promotes that every child in the class get on well each other and the teacher has to be sure they interact each other because sometimes children use to be with the same group of people and they don’t speak with other people in the class, so it must be there a pace of work within the whole class. We can use the skills in any area of learning, for example, we could use them in Maths class, in which they could work on things they use in their routine to make operations or go outside using outdoors things and they could work in groups, in this way they have to interact each other and think about the correct results as a team. It will improve the team working skills and the respect between every child.

Clayton, S. and Opotow, S. (eds.) Identity and the Natural Environment: They Psychological Signifance of Nature. [Online] Available: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Wwf0oVe2rHIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=identity+and+the+natural+environment&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiU8Y_szf7eAhU9UBUIHYIICZwQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=identity%20and%20the%20natural%20environment&f=false [Accessed: 1 December 2018]

Satterthwaite, D. et al. (2014). The environment for children. Understanding and acting on the environmental hazards that threaten children and their parents. [Online] Available: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cB1pAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=environment+for+children&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfz–o0P7eAhVpx4UKHTkWC6cQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=environment%20for%20children&f=false [Accessed: 1 December 2018]

ENERGY

Energy is the ability to do work and it is around all us, we can find it at home, at school, on the street, in the countryside… It is the capacity of a body to act or produce a change. Energy comes in different forms: heat, light, motion, electrical, chemical, nuclear energy and gravitational. This energy can be provided by different natural sources in which we find two different types of them: renewable energy source and nonrenewable energy source. The first type is the energy source that can be easily replenished and the second one is the energy source that can`t be easily replenished. According to renewable energy, we can find five main sources like solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and hydropower energy and non-renewable energy can be found in petroleum products, hydrocarbon gas liquids, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.

In class, we did some experiments in which we could appreciate the energy presence. One of them consisted of rubbing a glove in a soft texture for a while and then we could check that energy was around the glove because it was next to my hair without falling down. The same happened if we put the glove next to the wall.     Another experiment was about using the energy of a light to move a car toy without making use of the human strength.

After this, we took the fossils we made the week before and it was really fun because the shapes of the things we used could be clearly seen. It was a perfect example to explain what is a fossil and how it works throughout a lot of years.

Finally, we made a debate in different groups about some articles of energy, writing down negative and positive points which then we had to expose in the class. For this, we divided the class into two: one group was in favour and the other one against.

My peers had fun learning different actions from energy because of the development of the class. The debate was also really interesting because we had to read different articles which contained some data and knowledge we didn’t know and then we had to use it to defend that idea. It was really nice to see how they debated some issues from different points of view.

Personally, it is really important to show children events that occur in the development through activities and experiments in class. It promotes an easier learning for them if they can see and touch stuff and even more if they can provoke actions such us moving a car without using human strength. It is essential to explain this content in a fun and dynamical way because, on the contrary, it could be really boring for them just because energy is abstract and is something they can’t touch either see. We as teachers have to let them know about the presence of energy in their daily life and that is something really common that is around them every time. At the same time, it is important to teach children that energy must be protected, in terms that it can’t be wasted. We have to create awareness about energy can disappear if we don’t make a proper use of t. In this way, we could teach how we could use only the energy that we really need in our routine taking into account that every little change will help to save up energy and take care of our planet. “The BBC doles out

advice on how we can do our bit to save the planet – for example, “switch

off your mobile phone charger when it’s not in use;” (MacKay, 2008). It could be interesting to teach children different terms like energy efficiency and energy conservation, the first term makes reference to using a light-emitting diode (LED) light bulb that requires less energy than an incandescent light bulb to produce the same amount of light. On the contrary, energy conservation is any behaviour that results in the use of less energy, such as turn the lights off when leaving the room.

In relation with this, children can think about anything else that requires energy and never before thought about it and they can start to be aware of the importance of the energy for the functioning of the planet. Therefore, they will have a deeper knowledge of the environment, learning contents which are more difficult because they can’t see it and they will learn that environment is not only based on plants and animals, it is much more complicated.

According to the skills I developed, some of them were the critical thinker, analytical, imaginative, motivated and collaborative. This is because we had to think about different ways of energy and how we can appreciate through different ways, in the same way, we had to analyse different experiments and wonder ourselves why it occurred like that and look for reasons for it. Then we were motivated because we did some experiments what make us be motivated to learning new contents and at the same time to be collaborative to work with peers to check the different results of the experiments and argue why it may occur.

Some of the skills using the GTCS Professional Standards are the following:

2.1.2 Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons.

2.1.3 Employ a range of teaching strategies and justify their approach.

2.1.4 Set expectations and a pace of work which makes appropriate demands on all pupils.

They are important because it is crucial to have a clear communication for children using different sources to make the learning easier, in this case doing experiments, watching videos… to put them in relation to the content. Different strategies are needed to teach the contents and at the same time offer explanations to learn in an effective way. Finally, the good atmosphere in class is really important to work properly and to create a good place to learn each other. All of them are crucial because all of the content must be clear to provide a nice learning process but at the same time, if there’s no good atmosphere to work and learn, it is going to be difficult to achieve the objectives previously planned. To finish, connections with other areas of learning aren’t difficult to set because I think all of the skills are important to promote a good learning process and make easier to learn Maths, Language, Arts… I would point out the pace of work above all of them because it is necessary to have a good relationship between peers and teachers.

Energy Information Administration. (2018) What Is Energy? Explained. [Online]. Available: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.php?page=about_home [Accessed: 20 November 2018]

J.C. MacKay, D. (2008) Sustainable Energy – without the hot air. [Online] Available: file:///C:/Users/Alicia/Downloads/sewtha.pdf [Accessed: 21 November 2018]

Energy Information Administration. (2018) Using & Saving Energy. [Online]. Available: https://www.eia.gov/kids/energy.php?page=about_energy_efficiency-basics [Accessed: 20 November 2018]

 

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are sudden events caused by environmental factors that injure people and damage property, examples of them could be: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis… Natural disasters can occur in any place of the world, however, there are some places with a higher level of a possibility than others, this depends on several factors. Despite this, it is believed that human behaviour has an impact on this issue too, some causes are urbanisation, global warming and land use (deforestation, construction). “But even among climatic events, natural causes are not entirely divorced from the social. The world has recently experienced dramatic warming, which scientists increasingly attribute to airborne emissions of carbon, and around the world, Katrina is widely seen as evidence of socially induced climatic change.”  (Smith. N, 2006, p. 1). The government has an important role in this issue, it must prepare communities and urban areas, respond quickly and work with communities and international partners. They have the aim of reducing as maximum as possible the affected people and injuries as the cause of the natural disasters. “International relief increase with the severity of the disaster and when the income of the affected people is lower. But relief is also driven by factors other than need. Donors also give more to countries that lie closer and with which they share a common language and colonial ties.” (David Strömberg, 2007, p. 221)

In relation to this, in the first week, the class consisted of different activities about natural disasters in order to represent them, know different rocks, make interesting experiments… first of all, we made our own volcano using different materials such as baking soda, vinegar and a washing up liquid.

It was really interesting to know how the process is for me because as a child I didn’t learn this content in this fun way, it was exciting to know how different materials carry out effects that can represent things so important like the volcano eruption. At the same time, all of my peers were really interested in it, because they were excited to see the reactions that could occur in the experiments. Personally, I feel that it is crucial to teach children this types of contents in this dynamic way because they can observe and check by themselves what they use to see in the news.

Then, we did some cutouts, which they showed the different parts of the volcanos. After that, we knew different rocks and checked the hardness they have while we were hitting them with a hammer. This is a proper way to learn different types of rocks because children can touch the different textures and know more about them than just looking them in a book. My peers and me, we could check the strength that we had to use to break them or even, in many cases, it was impossible to broke them, it was a fun activity for us.

Finally, we used different things such as clams, snails and dinosaur toys to create a fossil. We just had to put that different shapes within the clay, in this way, the shapes were on the clay and it would be a representation of what a fossil is. It is a cool way to teach children what a fossil is and at the same time, they can create it by themselves in an easy way. It is really interesting because of the reason I have explained before, children can touch and see the different materials. It is an interactive way in which children can learn because it is easier to learn something using different senses (sight, touch and hear) than just hearing the explanation of the teacher or watching any video. This is something that schools should promote and as consequence, the learning will improve. 

In the second week, the class was based on the direct study task of microteaching, in which different groups explained natural disasters in a more specific way. My group and I explained what an earthquake is, how to explain it to children and possible activities for children, what it is the response and the aid provided by countries and finally, we made a quiz to check if our classmates learned something from our presentation. According to other groups, it was really interesting because some of them made a cupboard model to represent the process of a tsunami, and in my view, it was a fun and different way to know more about it.

Another groups, made a quiz in which we learned essential stuff to be safe, such as if an earthquake occurs in our city, the safest place to be is under a table, or what we have to do if a tsunami is coming, is going to the highest place that we have close to us.

I think that this methodology of teaching is really effective because it promotes participation between peers and teacher and makes students curious about the topic. At the same time, it leads to the fact that children ask questions they may have about the content and they can be answered by the teacher or even by the peers, in addition, they can relate what they are learning to another experiences children may have and share with the classmates.  Furthermore, this way of teaching using experiments and more practical experiences, foster the creativity on children and creates curiosity on the contents, and because of this, it creates a more free, flexible and interactive learning. This methodology makes an easier learning process than just the traditional one (just listen to the teacher explanation), therefore, it shows us an improvement of the teaching techniques, because of this, I am going to give an experience example of this issue making reference to the change of education provided from past years to current ones.

“My chemistry teacher was an excellent pedagogue: for example, she began the lesson on electrolysis with a simple demonstration or laboratory, conducted with a student assistant. Provided with a solution of cupric chloride (CuCl2), two carbon electrodes, and a battery, a little later we all smelled the “swimming pool” aroma near one of the electrodes and saw the red powdery smear on the other electrode. “What happens here?” was her opening question. As an enhanced chemistry class, we were allowed to redo experiments as well as change concentrations, as long as we discussed and got approval from the chemistry teacher. Discussion among us and with the teacher, who was not volunteering answers. The teacher seemed to show the most pleasure when we students argued with each other. Then she would use the same questioning strategies to make us think and solve the puzzle. Thinking about the honors chemistry classes attended by my sons many decades later, I concluded that none of them looked like my high school experience. Their teachers would come to class, present a long lecture on a subject, which was rarely followed by a confirming laboratory in which students knew the “correct results” before performing the prescribed experiment. The teacher was not interested in students’ experiences, and any attempt to slow down the pace was not welcome, as they “had to cover lots of material.” Summarizing his high school experience, my oldest son, Danny, wrote a note on his bedroom door stating, “At school, I listen to people I don’t like, talking about things I do not understand.” (Moscovici, 2013, pp. 88-89)

In relation with the skills developed in this topic, I could say that critical thinker and analytical are essential, because the content and the way of teaching it promotes that I have to stop to think and to make a reflection about what can happen in an experiment or what can I do if a natural disaster happens in my city. It is not just learning what an earthquake or a tsunami is, but I have to think in a more practical way. The collaborative is another important one because as I said before, this learning promotes the participation between peers and teacher, in which it exists a discussion about reflections and ideas that we may have. At the same time, motivation is the key to this topic because the learning process through experiments and discussion avoid peers and me getting bored. Finally, creativity and imagination are crucial because this topic makes me think and reflect on it, it promotes critical thinking about why any natural disaster may occur and how I can act on it.

According to the Primary teaching skills, I would point out some of them:

2.1.2 Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons.

2.1.3 Employ a range of teaching strategies and justify their approach.

2.1.4 Set expectations and a pace of work which makes appropriate demands on all pupils

I have selected that skills because, in this topic, I have realized that it is really important for children to discuss and share ideas and curiosities in order to enrich their learning rather than a learning based on just one point of view or resource. For me, it is really nice to know different opinions and at the same time, know people and their experiences. In the case of my peers, it was really interesting for them to know my opinion because Spanish education is different from the Scottish one, so it was exciting to learn something new. For teachers, it is essential to create an interaction between peers to guarantee the learning and at the same time, it is possible to improve communication skills. On the other hand, teachers use to learn from children views and experiences, so this skill not only benefits to children. In addition, as I have said before, different teaching strategies are crucial to improve the learning of the children, for them is vital to have a fun learning process because they will be learning stuff without struggling too much. My peers also had fun while they were showing us their own experiments, so it is really worth. Finally, a pace of work in class must be created to let children know that every opinion and idea is valued and they shouldn’t be afraid about if their ideas are proper or not. Every input is important to create a common learning and help each other. That skills can be used in other areas because we can relate subjects such as Music or Maths to our daily experiences to learn more about them. For example, we could solve operations using things that are present in our daily routine or discuss and share ideas about things we could use to make different sounds. It is really easy to promote communication skills in any area and at the same time, it guarantees a better learning process.

References:

Moscovici, H. (2013) Learn Science, Learn Math, Learn to Teach Science and Math, Homo Sapiens! In: Penny, J. G. and Katherine, C. M. (eds.) Cultural Perspectives in Science Education: Research Dialogs. [Online] pp. 88-89. Available: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-94-6209-155-9.pdf [Accessed: 06-11-2018]

David Strömberg (2007). Natural Disasters, Economic Development, and Humanitarian Aid.  Journal of Economic Perspectives. Vol. 21 (3), pp.199-222. Available: https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.21.3.199 [Accessed: 01 November 2018]

Smith, N. (2006) There’s No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster. SSRC. [Online] Available: http://blogs.ubc.ca/naturalhazards/files/2016/03/Smith-There%E2%80%99s-No-Such-Thing-as-a-Natural-Disaster.pdf

Interdependence

First of all, we have to know that interdependence is the relationship between two or more living things to be healthy and stay alive. Interdependence is the key to maintain a cycle of life in the environment in which after all, every agent get a benefit from it. Without that dependence between different agents, it would not be possible the subsistence of each living being, for that reason we have to say that interdepence is essential in our daily life. “Our hypothesis, which we call the Interdependence Hypothesis, is that at some point humans created lifeways in which collaborating with others was necessary for survival and procreation.” (Tomasello, M., Melis, A., Tennie, C., Wyman, E. and Herrman, E., 2012, pp. 673-674)

In relation with this, in the first week class we could appreciate and understand the development of this word by our own, thanks to the visit to the farms to know how they work with cows to provide the milk that we are able to drink in our routine. Those visits, personally helped me to check that the interdependence between different agents is a real issue and on the contrary, it is not just a theory explained in books. We could see by ourselves different factors and strategies that work, what makes a more dynamic learning and in my point of view more worthy, because both for me and my classmates it is more interesting to learn something from the place where something works than just reading a book and memorizing. In this process, fortunately, we visited two different farms to know different process and places to work.

The first one, Mossgiel farm, is a small organic one where the cows use to be at the field, what means that they can feed on the grass in a natural way and at the same time, all of them are outdoors, what requires a more free lifestyle for them. Apart from this, we could see the machines are used to obtain the milk from the cows. This farm is a traditional one because it follows the normal pattern and process that we are use to see, and personally, I feel is a good option to have the cows in a free space for them to be able move by themselves and breathe fresh air, in this way, I think it favors to have a normal development and it doesn’t make an impact to the product they provide us in a future.

The second one, Strandhead Farm is one of the most modern farms because technology is used to work and to achieve the milk from the cows. In other words, this farm has machines with the farmers can observe different data while they are obtaining the milk from the cows, they can know if a cow revision is needed, the weight of the cow, how is the milk process going… Personally I think it is really useful to be able to use the technology in terms like that because it is so helpful that provides extra information to know that everything is going properly. On the other hand, in this farm cows are inside a place, what requires they have a limited space to move and they can’t enjoy of the outdoors, what I didn’t like too much because personally I saw the cows they hadn’t too much space for themselves and on the contrary of the first one, they can’t breathe fresh air.

This activity for children it could be really fun because they visit a different place where they are not use to go and at the same time, they can learn by what they see in front of them instead of by images on their class books. It is a nice way to learn something because they can touch by themselves what is around them and at the same time they become aware of the process and the work of a lot of farmers, what make it possible to drink milk everyday.

In the second week class, we developed deeply about what interdependence is and what components has, we learnt that interdependence is not only in relation with environment, but also with economy and society. In the case of economy we can find interaction in the global market and multinational financial institutions, and about society we can say that there are a lot of ways to interact by media, advertising, agencies, cultural integration…

“Some researchers (e.g,, Johnson and Johnson, 1989) distinguish task interdependence, in which each member must take action for other members to do any part of their work (as in a basketball team) from resource interdependence, in which each member can complete his or her part of the whole, but resources such as information are distributed among members and the whole task is not complete until each member has completed his or her part.” (Wageman, R., 1995, p.146)

Personally, I have always been aware of the environmental interdependence but not really on the other two. I think that economic and social interdependence is as important as environmental is and we can’t forget about this. In this world, every act has a consequence and that consequence has another one, making of this a constant cycle, because of that we have to be always aware of that.

In the case on environmental interdependence, we can say that slight changes in an interconnected system can mean big changes in other parts. It exists a non stop cycle between food, water and energy, that personally we aren’t really aware of it and how it runs so fast. In terms of environment, we have to point out concepts like food supply and welfare. As well, symbiosis is a key concept in relation with this, it consists of relationship between two different species, what leads to mutualism, commensalism or parasitsm. Apart from this, we also have to make reference to the possibility of extintion, a concept that is really controversial nowaydays and implies the loosing of any animal spice.

Finally, we did a independent study task per group about sustanaible seas, we found different documents in relation to biodeversity, economy and industry, community impact and political elements. One of the documents was about maintain sustanaible fishing practices, in this way the organisation who carried out this project, had as a main objective to maintain and improve the health of the oceans and avoid the exploitation of some species. To achieve this, they followed three main principles: sustainability of the fishery, environmental impact and fishery management.

In my view, was really interesting to study and work about this issue because we could see it from different point of views, such as farmers/workers, teachers and documents provided, and on the contrary we didn’t have just one resource to learn about it. I imagine that to a child, it is really fun to learn about it like that, but obviously more interaction would be needed to make a dynamic learning for them.

According to the skills that I have developed, in terms of generic ones I would point out critical thinker, analytical, knowledgeable, motivated, innovative… this is because this project, personally make me to stop to think and analyse about what/how it is really the process of obtaining the milk, the cares and needs that animals may have. At the same time, it made me know new things that two weeks ago I didn’t know and it created in myself curiosity about that. Motivation has been a main topic because it is essential the way in which we learn contents, and as Spanish student, I really liked this method because it is not based just on reading books, listening to the teacher or looking for information on internet. I had the possibility to look with my eyes what it is going on in the farms, how machines works, and how milk is provided to us. For this reason, for me it has been innovative, because I am not use to do this type of projects, so it is really interesting to learn by different methods and tasks in relation to a topic.

According to Primary teaching skills I can highlight some of them:

 

2.1.1 Plan coherent, progressive teaching programmes which match their pupils’ needs and abilities, and justify what they teach.

2.1.2 Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons.

2.1.5 Work effectively in co-operation with other professionals, staff and parents in order to promote learning.

 

These skills are essential in the learning process of Primary Education children, because the content and the activities has to be in relation, and it has to make sense when teacher explains to their students. For this reason, it must be there an armony between what are they doing and the content that wanted to be taught. At the same time, to work properly it is really important interaction, personally this way of learning improve the learning process and as well promotes communication skills. Other medias different to books are crucial to have different resources and to give students the possibility to learn by videos, audios… Finally, interaction works if we use other professionals as different resources to learn such as farmers in this case, because they are able to explain by their point of view and experience the content that we are studying. Children will always prefer learning by this way than by the traditional way using just one resource without any different place to the classroom. I think that it is possible to make a fun learning process and it is not difficult to achieve it, at the same time, if we work using different places, professionals, activities we are going to learn from the students as well while they interact with something new. Connections to other areas of learning may happen because working in groups and being in contact between all of us can transmit values. For this, it is important to create a good athmosphere for children. Apart from this, another subjects can be studied following that principles, such as language or maths, in which we can focus the subjects on a different way, creating new methods of learning.

Tomasello, M., Melis, A., Tennie, C., Wyman, E. and Herrman, E. (2012) Two Key Steps in the Evolution of Human Cooperation: The Interdependence Hypothesis. Current Anthropology [Online] Vol. 53 (6), pp. 673-692. Available: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/668207

Wageman, R. (1995) Interdependence and Group Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly. [Online] Vol 40 (1), pp. 145-180. Available: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=0&sid=b40f941b-2700-4f29-8558-e44cb803ca52%40sdc-v-sessmgr04

 

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