Energy

  • Non-renewable energies
    •  Are limited sources of energy that take along time to renew (sometimes hundreds or thousands of years), (Shinn, 2018)
      • Coal
        • Could run out in 150 years
      • Natural Gas
        • Will run out in 52 years if no new deposits are found
      • Oil
        • Could be gone in 53 years

(ecotricity, 2016)

  • Renewable energy
    • “comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished,” (Shinn, 2018)
    • Wind
    • Wave
    • Solar
    • Biofuel

Windmills debate

We debated the pros and cons of wind farms.

We first split into groups of four and collected all key information we could find to support both sides of the argument. I found this difficult as I let my opinion dictate what information I collected rather than gathering information for both side of the debate. For pupils it might be best to be tasked with either the pros or cons to make it easier for them to research efficiently.  Two groups then joined to compose arguments and then the whole class were assigned either for or against. From here we gathered all the arguments and evidence we had and presented them. For each of the six rounds of the debate the ‘for’ group went first and then the ‘against’ group followed with a rebuttal.

This type of debate is called the hot air balloon debate (or simply the balloon debate). The basic idea of the balloon debate is that a hot air balloon is going down and in in order save it, objects or people need to be chucked overboard. A debate for and against each person or object is presented and then the class votes on whether the person or object should stay or get chucked overboard. This can be done with a wide variety of different subjects (Teach Primary, 2016).

Another type of debate is the four corner debate where, in four corners of the room, the words ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, ‘disagree’ and ‘strongly disagree’. A statement is read out and the children have time to think and/or write down their response to the statement. The children are then asked to go to the corner that comes closest to their original opinion. The children can then discuss their opinions in their corners and then present a group response to the statement (The Teacher Toolkit, n.d.).

Instruction vs. Tinkering

Another activity we did was to build a car which we had to make move without pushing it. The cohort were split into two groups; one group were given set material and instructions that needed to be followed, the other group were given a variety of different material and were told to build a car. We were then brought together at the end to compare the different ways of doing this activity.

Building the car with instructions was fun however we missed out on developing communication and group working skills that are vital for pupils to develop. Using instructions does have its merits, such as everyone having the same end product and having more structure to a lesson. Building the care out of a variety of materials is known as tinkering. “Tinkering is part of a hands-on, trial and error-based process that rewards persistence, resourcefulness, and self-sufficiency,” (Learning is Open, 2017). These are all important things to develop in children. The hands-on process helps to engage pupils who may not be so academic and the trial and error process helps to build resilience. Tinkering can open up more of a free flowing work space that helps students and teachers learn more about each other in a relaxed setting.
I believe tinkering is valuable for children’s education which can build self-confidence, communication and resilience. Tinkering also links to the experiences and outcomes in ‘Craft, Design, Engineering and Graphics’ under technologies (Education Scotland, 2018).

Resources

https://www.parliament.uk/education/teaching-resources-lesson-plans/primary-school-debating-pack/

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/non-renewable-energy/

References

Ecotricity, (2016) The End of Fossil Fuels [Online] Available: https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/energy-independence/the-end-of-fossil-fuels [Accessed: 16 November 2019]

Education Scotland (2018) Experiences and Outcomes [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/education-scotland/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5/experiences-and-outcomes/#all [Accessed: 18 November 2019]

The Exploratory (2017) Tinkering and Making [Online] Available: https://learningisopen.org/toolkit/tinkering-making/ [Accessed: 17 November 2019]

Shinn, Lora (2018) Renewable Energy: The Clean Facts [Online] Available: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/renewable-energy-clean-facts [Accessed: 16 November 2019]

The Teacher Toolkit (n.d.) Four Corners [Online] Available: http://www.theteachertoolkit.com/index.php/tool/four-corners [Accessed: 17 November 2019]

Teaching Primary (2016) Implementing debates in the primary classroom  [Online] Available: https://www.teachprimary.com/learning_resources/view/implementing-debates-in-the-primary-classroom [Accessed: 17 November 2019]