Community Project

 

For my community project, I worked alongside others in a care home for dementia patients serving their meals and integrating with them in their lounge areas. From this experience I was able to understand the term dementia. Dementia can be described as the different symptoms that may arise which suggest memory loss in a patient (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019).

This type of work was a very new experience for myself as an individual. Before taken part in this project I had never worked with dementia patients before, however I have had a family member who had dementia therefore I had some basic understandings of how to encounter it.

The variety of forms of dementia really surprised me as I wasn’t aware there was more than 1 type of dementia. Some patients can suffer from day to day loss where they can’t recall what happened the day before or they could have problems with language and therefore can’t process a conversation properly.

When working in the care home, it was very challenging to understand some of the conversations patients were having with me. At some occasions, patients couldn’t finish their conversations because they were unsure of what they were trying to say to me and this was quite heartbreaking as I knew they were trying to ask me something they needed an answer for therefore I had to try and figure out what they were saying.

It was very enjoyable to watch how all the staff within the care home interact with the patients and really made their time there fun and engaging. It was also enjoyable to get to speak to the patients and other professionals and gain more experience in this area of work.

 

From this experience, I developed an understanding of those in the dementia community. I learned that these people are very fragile within our community and it is our role within the community to assist those with dementia and make sure they have a healthy and safe life throughout their later ages. The project also gave me the opportunity to gain multiple skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving. Linking to gratitude attributes I was able to be emotionally intelligent around the patients and tried to be understanding of their situation and give them my absolute full attention if and when they were speaking to me.

This amazing opportunity allowed me to link skills that I had gained and transfer them into my teaching studies. These skills could be things like patience and listening for example. These are two very important skills I had further developed within the care home. These skills have taught me that it is crucial that we give pupils time to grasp what is being taught to them and try to be patient even if they may not be able to understand the concept your teaching the first time around. It is also important that we give our pupils our full attention when they have something to ask or to say, this allows pupils to feel like they are being valued and their thoughts and opinions are being heard and taken onboard.

When looking at my community project, I was able to make connections between my project and Sustainable Development. I found that my time at the care home linked with the Diversity section. This is due to the fact that although the majority of the patients had dementia, it was important for me to understand they were all very different and had their own characters ( Queensborough Community College,2019).

 

My project also linked to another module I have taken this year and that is Inter-professional Working. As I was working with dementia patients, it gave me the opportunity to gather how important it was for the all the patients to be a part of something within the care home. Carers would encourage all patients to get involved in the activities going on in the care home so that they were made to feel included in what was going on around them. This linked to the theme of inclusion from Inter-Professional Working, as it is important in teaching that we ensure everyone feels like they are included and no one is excluded from taking part. It is our role as a student teacher to create plans for teaching to include all pupils and ensuring our level of teaching is adequate for all learning abilities (Andy Thompson,2009).

Overall, this community project has allowed me gain a better understanding of dementia as a whole and how myself as an individual can further help those suffering from dementia. This opportunity has allowed me to gain and further develop skills which I can use within teaching and I look forward to doing so.

REFERENCES

Alzheimer’s Society.(2019) What is Dementia? [Online] Available: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/what-dementia [Accessed: 25Th November 2019].

Queensborough Community College. (2019) Definition for Diversity [Online] Available: http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/diversity/definition.html [ Accessed: 22nd November 2019].

Thompson, A. (2009) Why is Inclusion so Important? [Online] Available: https://senmagazine.co.uk/articles/articles/senarticles/why-is-inclusion-so-important [Accessed: 22nd November 2019].

Blog 5 – Energy

Energy is the ability to make something work (US Energy Information Administration,2019). Energy can’t be destroyed therefore it goes from one energy source to another. These sources can be things such as wind, heat, light and turbine.

As a class teacher, I would demonstrate the knowledge of energy, linking with all the definitions and the sources etc and then I would link to this youtube video which really engages pupils into what energy actually is and how it can be performed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0_S5YpYVo

When teaching pupils about energy, it is important that we define it and we want our pupils to understand energy. We also want our pupils to have an appreciation for non-renewable and renewable energy. Non- renewable energy involves sources such as coal, natural gases and oil for example. Renewable energy is when we restore energy from another source such as wind, rain or heat for example (Aust,2014).

Before this session, I underestimated the amount of energy we actually use in our world on a daily basis. We use fossil fuels so we can burn them to make a source of energy. For example, we use transport fuels such as petrol or diesel to make our cars work. We also use natural gas in order to cook our food and heat our houses. As teachers, we should encourage our pupils to be less dependent on fossil fuels so that our world isn’t damaged and this then links with global warming as our earth is being trapped with all these dangerous gases caused by fossil fuels (Segal, 2018).

In our sections, we took part in a debate about alternative energy. In this task two teams had to debate for and against the subject of “Are wind turbines a viable alternative to fossil fuels?”.   In small groups we had to gather information that would back up a point we had suggested. I took part in the against team, this was something I had never took part in before so this was a challenge for myself to stand in front of peers and put my point across about the wind turbines and I gained self-confidence doing so. This allowed us to gain research skills as well as working in a team and listening to our opponent.  The task was better in groups as you learned more and were able to share the workload with one another.

       

If you were to take this lesson with pupils, it is important to ensure that all pupils are alright with the debate and consider how certain pupils may feel talking out in front of the class. It is important that you encourage everyone to be involved, for example, give everyone a role within the group which allows them to feel like they have had a part in the task.

This link demonstrates what debating actually is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juuiZPQ1ZWk

Within our science session, we investigated different experiments we could complete that created energy. We took part in experiments such as creating a fuse and a solar panel car. The creating a fuse task allowed us to create a fuse on the circuit board using electricity and steel wool and the steel wool then caught on fire due to the short circuit being created to make the fuse. It introduced problem solving skills and critical thinking, however we established there needed to be health and safety due to the fire. So for this task it’s important that we do health and safety before using electricity with pupils. The solar panel car was very engaging for pupils to undertake as they could control the car by holding the solar panel to the light.

These tasks demonstrated that we need to ensure kids are kept safe when being taught about electricity or energy but they are also able to have fun.

Our last session was tinkering vs structured in technologies. This allowed both sections to create a vehicle using materials and finding the type of energy you would use to make your vehicle move. The two sections created the same model but the tinkering session has the freedom to design their own model  which made it unique, compared to the structured section that were given instructions on how to complete the model therefore everyone’s looked the same. Tinkering allows us to considered how something could work therefore it became frustrating when some of our materials didn’t work out and we had to change them. Our car ran on kinetic energy as we created a ramp for it to go down.  Here is our car;

This task was important as it highlighted how encouraging it is to see how you can make a young person feel capable to create something of their own. It also links to sustainable development as it highlights that we should encourage more STEM classes so that we can change and improve lives, especially for girls.

Overall, linking to the professional standard of social justice, it is crucial that we teach pupils different ways to use energy to protect our world from running out of natural resources. We must encourage pupils to demonstrate what changes they can make to the world by using less energy.

References

Aust,A. (2014) Non-Renewable and Renewable Energy Resources [Online] Available: https://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2014/02/13/nonrenewable-and-renewable-energy-resources-2/ [Accessed: 17th November 2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0_S5YpYVo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juuiZPQ1ZWk

Segal, R.(2018) Should We Depend on Fossil Fuels or Renewable Energy? [Online] Available: https://www.theperspective.com/debates/living/depend-fossil-fuels-renewable-energy/ [Accessed: 17th November 2019].

US Energy Information Administration (2019) What is Energy? [Online] Available: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/what-is-energy/ [Accessed: 8th November 2019].

Blog 4 – Natural Disasters

Natural disasters involve all kinds of severe weather types such as tornados or hurricanes that could threaten the life of humans and the risk of their safety (Homeland Security, 2018). Natural disasters can cause environmental losses as well as economic as communities struggle to deal with a natural disaster using their own resources.

When teaching pupils about natural disasters it is important that we ensure that what we are telling them isn’t too hard hitting. It is important that we try our best to avoid videos or news reports that involves recorded number of deaths for example. Attached below is an engaging video aimed at primary school level which develops pupils understanding of what a natural disaster is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaEmIakO7f4

Natural disasters are very unlikely to occur within the United Kingdom. However, there have been many disasters to occur across the world in countries such as Japan and Haiti. Before this session, I was unaware that there are different categories of disasters therefore I was able to gain some research skills as I was gathering information on the different types of disasters and how they occur.

Within the Science workshop we examined different types of rocks such as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. We also analysed Volcanoes as a form of a natural disaster that could occur. There were various activities within the workshop such as Volcano making to classifying where the disasters would occur around the world.

The world of disasters task would be a good resource to use in the classroom. It allowed me to gain collaborative, research, critical thinking and discussion skills. The sheet could be used as an assessment tool to see what the pupil’s had learned and understood. The task would link to the professional standard of social justice as it would encourage pupils to learn about disasters and where they occur in our world.

The volcano making experiment was also another useful tool that could be used to introduce pupils to natural disasters. It allowed pupils the opportunity to investigate how quickly a volcano can erupt and the devastation it could cause. Safety is very important in this activity as something could go wrong with the experiment therefore safety procedures should be put in place, such as safety goggles.

Politics and the economy are also affected by natural disasters. The government have a huge role to play in the protection of their citizens in emergency of a natural disaster occurring. Their specific roles are to help communities and urban areas prepare, respond and recover from a natural disaster.

Depending on where the country is in the world it can either be a developed country or a developing country. If a natural disaster was to occur within a developed country they would have better economic factors as they have more money to create stronger buildings, put plans in place and are able to get warning of the disasters or evacuation. Compared to developing countries, they don’t have access to these things such as money to create stronger buildings or have access to technology to get warnings of disasters occurring near them.

Attached below are two videos which highlight the sheer difference between developed and developing countries within the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina. In these videos it shows the difference between Florida and Haiti.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-37576996/hurricane-matthew-leaves-at-least-283-dead-in-haiti

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-latin-america-37554065/how-haitians-have-been-evacuated-from-hurricane-matthew

These videos indicated the differences between developed and developing countries when dealing with natural disasters. Developed countries have more time to prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters compared to developing countries who struggle to even evacuate their citizens from their homes.

This then led us on to the tree activity. This was a good teaching resource to use, that again linked to the professional standards of social justice as allowed pupils to come up with causes, the issue, effects and solutions of a natural disaster. It could even link to problems within school such as littering, as this would show them the smallest impacts they could make on the world through littering and how this would affect our earth.

My peers and I created a presentation to present to our fellow peers based on Earthquakes. Within the presentation we came up with various activities we could use within the classroom to teach our pupils about earthquakes and how they occur. We gained positive feedback from our peers that our presentation was good through formative feedback such as thumbs up or down. This was a good task to complete as it was good practice for planning and delivering a lesson based on natural disasters. It was good to listen to the other groups as well as there was many different ways of presenting and delivering the lessons. Here is our presentation on earthquakes: EARTHQUAKES.pptx

Overall, my knowledge of disasters increased hugely after this session and indicated many ways we could impact on natural disasters. In regards to teaching, it is important that we allow pupils to learn about the world and the horrific disasters that occur (Halocha,2017).

REFERNECES

EARTHQUAKES.pptx

Halocha. J (2012) The Primary Teacher’s Guide to Geography. Witney: Scholastic

Homeland Security  (2018). Natural Disasters . [Online] Available: https://www.dhs.gov/natural-disasters [Accessed: 4th November 2019].

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-latin-america-37554065/how-haitians-have-been-evacuated-from-hurricane-matthew

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-37576996/hurricane-matthew-leaves-at-least-283-dead-in-haiti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qbg7orb1lc&list=PLIuTwp02JWm1Zumv1Y9jOI7cltMiAXo0S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaEmIakO7f4

Blog 3- Interdependence

 

Interdependence indicates how nothing on this earth can operate on it’s own. The meaning of interdependence is that different systems often rely on one another to simply survive (Kaufman, 2019). Before the past two sessions, I found it difficult to understand the true meaning of interdependence. However, the past two sessions have highlighted that even humans are involved in interdependence as we rely on certain things in order for us to survive, for example, we rely on innocent animals for our food supply for ourselves and our families.

Our first session of interdependence was our visit to the two different types of farm. The names of these two farms were Mosgile Farm and Strandhead Farm. Although both farms worked with cows and their dairy industries, they worked in very different and inspiring ways.

Strandhead Farm was very much industrialised. Everything relied on forms of technology. There wasn’t really much involvement from farmers as everything was completed by machinery. The cows were kept in pens all day everyday for milking purposes however we actually discovered that the cows preferred to be in their pens because when farmers had let them out into the fields they just came back to their pens again!

There was a milking machine that allows the cows to be milked by a machine instead of a farmer and also a machine that pushed hay towards the cows in order for them to have food.

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The machinery however can also have a negative effect on farming. Due to all the milk being pasteurized through various types of machinery, it can effect our society as the milk being sold throughout the industry could be a danger to us as it is not being done organically therefore there is likely to be more chemicals involved in the milk process(Hind,2018).

The second farm was the Mosgile Farm. As mentioned before this farm was the complete opposite to Strandhead farm as everything was completed here organically. They pasteurized their own milk to cut down production time and they allowed the cows to be out in the fields every day to enjoy the environment.  Mosgile was a family run farm that was passed down from generation to generation. Bryce who was in charge of the farm currently, told us about the situations the family had went through due to family bereavements and difficult situations such as bankruptcy. Bryce had shown us how if you do not have a steady income then you can not provide for your family. This family farm had a knock on effect from one thing to another since Bryce’s grandfather passed away. As the family farm went bankrupt due to serious circumstances Bryce had lost loads of cows and his farms money in order for the farm to be saved. This difficult time stopped his family farm to contribute to the economy as there was no milk to sell because the cows had all been given away to save their business.

The farm visit was such a good experience because it was a great resource of outdoor learning that could be used in my classroom. It would be a useful task to use because it involved everyone and would encourage kids to think about how much farming actually provides a living for the majority of our families and what impact they have in our world which then links teaching with the professional standard of social integrity. I found it very inspiring to see how hard these farmers work on a daily basis and will start to reflect on what I can do as an individual that could reduce their workload and help the environment by doing things such as eating less meat or drinking less milk.

Our directed study task focused on “Sustainable Seas”. This allowed my peers and myself to create an Infographic based on our oceans. Oceans are a key part of our planet and we rely on it very much. It helps us to breathe and is the home to various fish species which provide a food supply within our communities (MSC). We gained knowledge from this task as we discovered how much over fishing is effecting our wildlife under the ocean. It had shown us the impact fishing has on our economy as well as prices to run boats were becoming too expensive therefore it had a knock on effect to our economy as many people were loosing their jobs through the fishing industry. We discovered that  many governments are trying to put an end to overfishing as for example, the Scottish Government are no longer renewing fishing licences meaning that fishermen will no longer be allowed to fish without one (Scottish Government, 2011).

Below is a link to our groups inforgraphic about Sustainable Seas.

https://create.piktochart.com/output/41757512-interdependence?fbclid=IwAR3o_UVQcGyQAQJXxkbt4jsgb0DbHDVymS6g8U5wVBLTnqH8iYroykyKTgc

Overall, the sessions has shown the real importance of Interdependence and how much us as humans rely on things in order to survive. The sessions have allowed me to gain effective communication, collaborative and analytical skills. This is an important subject which I look forward to teaching!

REFERENCES

Hind, D. (2018) Could Cows Reverse the Effects of Climate Change? [Online] Available: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.independent .co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/cows-beef-farming-reverse-climate-change-global-warming- a8202121.html%3famp/ [Accessed: 21st October 2019]

Kaufman, J. (2019) What is Interdependence? [Online] Available: https://personalmba.com/interdependence/ [Accessed: 21st October 2019].

Marine Stewardship Council. Oceans at risk [Online] Available: https://www.msc.org/uk/what-we-are-doing/oceans-at-risk [Accessed 22nd October 2019].

Scottish Government (2011) Fishing [Online] Available: https://www2.gov.scot/Publications/2011/03/16182005/63 [Accessed: 22nd October 2019].

Blog 2 – Climate Change

Climate change occurs when the climate temperature does not remain consistent (May, 2017). Climate change is a broad topic which covers areas such as global warming, greenhouse gases, fossil fuels and carbon dioxide for example. Before the session on climate change I had no idea just how badly climate change is affecting our earth.  After this session it was horrifying to see just how many things us humans actually have a huge affect on the climate change just purely by the food that we eat or the types of cars that we drive on a daily basis.

Climate change affects things such as agriculture as our crops are starting to stop growing. This can cause huge issues within society as without any crops there is no food to produce for ourselves to buy. Climate change can also  have an affect on our society as the rising increase in global temperatures can also be know as Global Warming. For example, 2016 was ranked as the warmest year on record due to global warming (Shaftel,2019). People do understand that global warming exists however there isn’t a lot we can do to prevent it.

Politics and local governments have started to take action on climate change and global warming. They can do things such as set new policies for the general public to follow in order to protect the earths climate. It is the governments job to teach the public what action that they can take at a local level.

The Scottish Government created the Climate Change Act 2009. They set a target for 2050 to reduce climate change completely. The aims of the act are things such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, make provision about reduction and recycling of waste and giving advice to  Scottish Ministers relating to climate change (Scottish Parliament). This shows the general public the positive actions the local governments are beginning to take to reduce climate change for our earth.

In groups we worked together with our peers to become our own political party. Within this group we had to decide what cases of climate change where the most important within our community and had to address what one we thought should be completed first. This highlighted different opinions about climate change and what actions our government should take in order to fulfill these issues. Within this tasked I gained multiple skills such as teamwork, critical thinking and also problem solving whilst working with my peers.

Our science workshop again linked to climate change. We took part in various activities that allowed us to create fabulous resources for pupils within our classroom that educates them whilst having fun.

One activity was putting food colouring into different water jugs. Blue colouring went into the cold water and red went into the hot water. You then had to put the cups of food colouring into a tank of water and watch the two colours come together. This taught children how hot and cold air are different but create a wind when they come together. It truly amazed me how a small activity such as this taught pupils about teamwork skills and also broadened their knowledge of the world and how climate change can impact things as simple as our weather!

Another experiment was to create a tornado by using a jar filled with hot water, washing up liquid and green food colouring. The aim was to move your arm in a specific motion so that you could create tornado in the jar. This allowed pupils to gain problem solving skills as you had to find the correct arm movement in order to create the tornado and they successfully learned about tornados and how they were made.

I took part in the WWF footprint calculator by completing a survey based on my day to day life. It focuses on food, travel, stuff and home life to be exact. After I took  part in the footprint calculator it really indicated to me how much influence I actually have on the environment and climate change. It educated me in ways which I can actually try and reduce certain things that I do on a daily basis to protect the environment from harm in the future.

Overall, my thoughts on climate change have surely changed after the weeks session. I had many misconceptions about the importance of climate change and never really thought it was a big deal. However, after this session it has opened my eyes to all the things the general public can do to try and reduce the growing rate of climate change on earth purely based on their day to day lives.

I gained knowledge of how I can help reduce the impact of climate change on the world by completing the WWF calculator. Also by looking at the Climate change Act (2009) I have now gained knowledge on what local governments are doing to reduce climate change.

I look forward to involving climate change in the classroom!

References 

May, S. (2017) What is Climate Change? [Online] Available: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-k4.html . [Accessed: 1st October 2019]

Shaftel, H. (2019) Global Temperature [Online] Available: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/. [Accessed: 1st October 2019]

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. (n.d) [Online] Available: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2009/12/notes/contents. [Accessed; 8th October 2019]

https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/?_ga=1.176985891.745195644.1442412124#/

 

Blog 1 – Diversity

According to the Scottish Government, sustainable development ensures that people all over the world are receiving their basic necessities and are given the best quality of life (Scottish Government,2017). Up until this session I have never fully understood the whole broad term sustainable development. However, after this session I gained a deeper understanding by establishing all the different topics that were under the term of sustainable development such as disasters, climate change and diversity.

As the picture shows above, there are many things which I never thought would  fit in under sustainable development. After further explanation, it was clear to see why certain aspects of sustainable development were present in that photograph. Certain aspects such as children’s right are classed as a branch under sustainable development as if children are in, for example, a natural disaster their rights will be taken away if their homes and schools etc have been taken away from them therefore they don’t have a right to a shelter or education anymore.

This links in with our first session with the West of Scotland Development Education Centre(Wosdec). Wosdec had introduced to us the 17 Global Goals which  were agreed by all world leaders to guarantee better life’s by 2030.

Within the session we took part in various activities in a carousel. Our activity was based on natural disasters. It was a role play activity which you were given a character and you were told to read a scenario sheet and if that kind of disaster affected your character you either had to step forward or backwards depending on how badly it would affect you’re character. It indicated to me how severe these situations were in certain parts of the world and how natural disasters can truly ruin individuals’ lives either by destroying their family home or losing a family member. This resource would be good to use within the classroom as all pupils are involved in the situation, allows them to learn about sustainable development without realising they’re doing it and it also allows pupils to be in the heart of the situation rather than thinking about it happening to other people across the world.

The science section introduced us to biodiversity. Biodiversity is the sheer range of living things within the earth between us as humans and living insects (Carrington D, 2018). We took part in group experiments such as dissecting a flower and taking our learning outdoors to trace different shapes of leaves. This was a great session as it allowed myself as a student teacher to see the importance of involving outdoor learning. However, although there were advantages to outdoor learning there were some disadvantages such as the risk of weather for example. This can cause some issues with outdoor learning and can leave children disappointed. This however should not stop teachers encouraging themselves to involve outdoor learning in their lesson planning.

Cultural diversity was another topic we looked at within the diversity section of the module.As an individual I never actually realised how diverse our modern world is. Our first activity was to stand in front of the smart board if you had a certain thing in your life such as a tv in your home or can speak a different language. Within our section 4 people spoke a different language however the majority of the section had a family member or a friend who was part of the LGBTQ+. This highlights how we as individuals need to embrace the differences within our world and allow people to be whoever they want to be without judging them for it. Teachers need to involve diversity within the classroom to educate children that everyone is unique and that certain people may have different beliefs.

A challenging part of this task was to have a group discussion about our thoughts on stereotypes. However, we weren’t allowed to challenge each other on our views and opinions on issues. This was challenging for me because when working within a group my first reaction for me would be for to get involved within the discussion and give my opinions. It allowed me to develop teamwork skills as I was able to listen to other people’s thoughts and views.

Overall, diversity is a topic that needs to be embraced in this generation as no two people are the same. There are many skills which pupils can learn from diversity such as critical thinking, teamwork and leadership. I look forward to involving diversity within my classroom!

References

Carrington,D. (2018) What is Biodiversity and why does it matter to us? [Online] Available:  https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/12/what-is-biodiversity-and-why-does-it-matter-to-us. [Accessed : 24th September 2019]

Scottish Government. (2017) Sustainable Development. [Online] Available: https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20170701060750/http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/SustainableDevelopment[Accessed: 24th September 2019]

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