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Climate Change

Our climate is continually changing. If the climate does not remain constant, this is called climate change. The following blog will look at the various aspects of climate change.

Climate is described as the average weather at a given point and time of year over a long period of time. Climate change has many effects on society as a whole. One of these is agriculture. Through the process of desertification, significant amounts of the deserts agricultural land is unusable. In addition to this low lying areas can suffer from flooding and this means that crops could be wiped out which results in farmers losing their crops thus a major part of their business. Another massive effect of climate change is the rising in sea levels. Costal land is at risk and sea defences are under more stress.  I found a useful clip on Youtube which explains climate change from a child’s point of view and thought that this would be a useful resource for the classroom as children could engage with the clip when learning about climate change.

I watched the Antarctica on the edge documentary which was very interesting.

I learned that parts of Antarctica are warming faster than any other areas on the planet and and that carbon dioxide levels have risen and also contribute to climate change. I also became more knowledgeable about the air in Antarctica. Being knowledgeable about this area will be useful for me to use when teaching this topic but it is also one of the Graduate Attributes. Aerosol particles are very important for the water cycle and form clouds.  These particles are very vital as without them it would not rain which would lead to many disadvantages. This could link into a science lesson within the classroom when learning about the water cycle which could then lead to the pupils being creative and drawing out how the water cycle works allowing the pupils to learn about the environment whilst enjoying the lesson. I found a short clip that links climate change and the water cycle together that could be shown when learning about this topic.

Another issue within climate change is Greenhouse gases. Some scientists believe that the build up of gases in the atmosphere act like a blanket around the planet. Heat is therefore trapped inside the earths atmosphere and this is called the greenhouse effect. The increase in these temperatures is called global warming. From reading parts of the climate change for Scotland act 2009, I learned that Scottish ministers must ensure that the reductions in net Scottish emissions of greenhouses gases account for at least 80% of the reduction in the net Scottish emissions account in any target year. This shows that the Government is making a conscience effort to try and tackle things that are effecting us and our planet. This links to the workshop that we had on politics and global warming as the Government ensures that society can adapt to changes like these.

I used the WWF carbon footprint calculator to calculate my households carbon footprint which I have added a link to here:

https://moodle.uws.ac.uk/mod/url/view.php?id=27803

The first set of questions surrounded diet, how much you spend on food and how much food you waste. The next set of questions were about what kind of transport that I use and how often that I travel. The following set of questions were about the type of house that I live in, the use of heat/electricity and what types of energy efficiency improvements are installed in my home. The last set of questions were about spending habits, including spending money on pets but also what type of recycling and compost my household does. The result of the test showed that my carbon footprint was 136%. As part of the UWS graduate attributes I feel that I am socially responsible to make a difference and try to decrease my carbon footprint. I could do this by using public transport to reduce how often I drive places and I could also ensure that I buy food that is in season so that there are less air miles used when transporting this to our shops thus making a small effort towards reducing my carbon footprint. I feel motivated when it comes to this topic as I already recycle every type of waste in my household in specific bins. This could be linked into my teaching as I could encourage the pupils in my classroom to recycle their waste and also help them towards being an Eco school.

Diversity

Diversity is very important in today’s society especially within a primary school setting. The world we live in today is significantly diverse and people have to try and have an understanding of it.

On the first week of this module we had a talk on WOSDEC who’s aim is to promote social justice through education. Their learning is focused on encouraging and demonstrating to people what a global citizen is and also helping people to gain an understanding of social justice and equity. I feel that being able to understand social justice and equity is a skill necessary for me to develop throughout my journey of becoming a primary school teacher. After today’s workshop I felt that I had gained more knowledge upon this topic as I realised that there were a lot more components involved. For example, looking at a diagram on learning for sustainability showed me that there are so many parts that link together and contribute to children’s learning around this topic.  

I learned the skills that surround this topic I feel I possess some of these skills already and the ones I do not I can develop to ensure I have a strong skill set around this topic. For example, empathy is a skill that is very useful within this topic as it helps you to understand how the world works and feel empathetic towards things that could be harming the planet for example. This then means that I could make small changes like reducing my use of plastic to contribute to helping the improvement of sustainable development. This links to how I can carry the skill of empathy and use it positively within the classroom.

In the science workshop we looked at outdoor learning. We went outside and took rubbings of leaves and trees. Using outdoor learning within the school is useful as it allows the pupils freedom of being able to walk about and explore the environment around them. When we came back inside we were looking at how snails reacted being placed upon different surfaces. I quite enjoyed this as I felt as if I had a personal responsibility to look after the snail and make sure it moved once it was placed carefully upon a new surface with a different texture. This type of lesson could be used in a classroom as the pupils in the class can see what is in the environment around them and also take care of the snail when handling the snail which could then lead onto them being interested in looking into different components of the environment and how diverse it is when it comes down to the animals that live within it. Another skill that can be shown through this is problem solving as you would need to try the snails out on different surfaces to see what one it likes best and this links back to the diagram on learning for sustainability as problem solving is included within this.

We also had a workshop on cultural diversity, social equity and controversy. Diversity is so prominent in everyday life. Everyone is unique in their own way and it is okay to be different to others as if everyone looked the same and had the exact same skill set then nothing in society would be achieved. It is important that people are able to respect other peoples views even if their opinion on the topic is different on the topic at hand. The TEDx video about why cultural diversity matters was very informative. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48RoRi0ddRU.  He discussed the importance that history, language and tradition have in the preservation of culture. This could be looked at within the classroom as pupils will most likely have family from different countries or speak a different language and this could show them how they are involved in diversity biologically. Cultural diversity shows many ways of seeing the world and our place within it and that we all have unique sets of knowledge about various topics that we are able to build upon.  Before today’s workshop I had never really properly thought about how largely stereotypes influence diversity from religion, to people’s living arrangements and people’s sexuality. I now feel I have deepened my understanding of this which will help me when discussing diversity in the classroom as I will have the knowledge I need to address the topic. I also found a pupil friendly video which looks at diversity and explains it for pupils. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpSLtVXF0Mc. I could purchase this book and read it to my class when discussing the diversity topic.

Reference – learning for sustainability picture from; https://www.gtcs.org.uk/professional-standards/learning-for-sustainability.aspx