* Embracing locally and globally the educational and social values of sustainability, equality and justice and recognising the rights and responsibilities of future as well as current generations.
When referring to sustainability, we should be thinking as teachers how we can actively engage a child to learn about sustainability in the world, for example, renewable sources of energy, recycling etc. Personally I feel as this is an issue which needs to be taught more in schools across the country as it is an issue that is never going to go away, until we do something about it. Therefore if we are educating children on these issues, in a fun engaging way, for example asking them to bring in old plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and showing them what can be done with them, then they will start to see the benefits for sorting out these issues and learning about them. Not only is this an important issue for us as a population but we need to start thinking about the upcoming generations. Thus if we are educating the generation in place at the moment, it will not only impact there future, but others futures too. When referring to equality, we as teachers should be educating children on multiple things. For example people from who come from different social backgrounds, from different cultures, who are different through gender, age and also through their sexuality. As teachers we need to ensure that we treat everyone fairly, as everyone in our classroom will be different. Then we will be promoting equality for everyone. We need to make sure children are aware of all types of different people, and also that they realise who they are too. Having equality in a classroom is vital, as it also brings a nicer environment for learning within the classroom for every student. Social justice is a term I have heard multiple times throughout my life, although I have never truly came to terms with what is actually meant by social justice. From my understanding so far, social justice is the belief that everyone has the right to equal social, economic and political rights and opportunities. Although I am not entirely sure how to relate social justice to a classroom environment and how I would go about teaching children it, it is an area in which I plan to do more research in to so that I get a more fulfilled understanding of it.
* Committing to the principles of democracy and social justice through fair, transparent, inclusive and sustainable policies and practices in relation to: age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.
This second point, touches upon following school policies and rules. Although many schools across the country may have different rules for their students, I am certain that all schools agree that one of their main rules is that there is no discrimination within a classroom. I feel that in today’s society this is a vital rule to have within a classroom as everyone nowadays is so very different, thus as teachers we in no way can tell a student that their beliefs etc. are wrong! As a teacher, as previously stated, we should be educating children on equality, and if we able to demonstrate equality within our teaching, then children are likely to follow. If we as teachers come across any discrimination in a school, whether it be teachers or students, we need to ensure that we take the right actions in dealing with it immediately, to ensure that the issue is resolved as quickly as possible.
* Valuing as well as respecting social, cultural and ecological diversity and promoting the principles and practices of local and global citizenship for all learners.
Again following the other points, this point touches upon equality within classrooms. Also we should add for this point that as teachers we should be making sure that within the classroom everyone feels they are being treated equally and that they are conscious of that their classmates may be from different social backgrounds or cultures. This point also touches upon that we should be teaching children from a local and worldwide perspective. We need to be showing children that there is more to life than the classroom. For example, personally I feel that this is why we need to make more of an importance on things such as doing foreign exchange (not within primary schools, but upper schools) or doing things like setting up pen pals for primary students. They will get to see the world through someone else’s perspective which is a really important thing we should be allowing children to do. Even simple things like reading stories or watching videos about people from other cultures will help to educate a child on equality.
* Demonstrating a commitment to engaging learners in real world issues to enhance learning experiences and outcomes, and to encourage learning our way to a better future.
When looking back at primary school, I can never really recall learning anything about issues that were going on in world at the time. In a way I feel like I have missed out on something, thus I value the importance of teaching children about things happening in the world around them. We should be encouraging children to be watching the news, looking at newspapers, especially in today’s society when there is news shows such as Newsround, just for kids! It is important that children are educated in an honest manner on what is going on in the world around them. We should be encouraging children to engage with what they have learned about what is going on by asking them how that makes them feel or asking them to report back, and even simply encouraging them to ask questions about it and talk to one another about it.
* Respecting the rights of all learners as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and their entitlement to be included in decisions regarding their learning experiences and have all aspects of their well-being developed and supported.
The last point of this section is pretty important within a classroom. As teachers we should be encouraging children to engage with their learning and express what they would like to learn or how they would like to learn. We can do this through very simple things such as giving them a few topics and asking them which one they would be most interested in, asking them to select their own reading book to write a paragraph on why they enjoyed it or did not enjoy it, or even simply asking them to do a vote, on what subject they would perhaps like to look in to first thing on a Monday morning. If children are doing what they want, then they are more likely to engage with the task at hand, and learn something valuable from it.