For the previous two weeks, the focus of my lectures and workshops for sustainable development has been interdependence. Interdependence can be described as the way in which two or more living things depend on each other to grow and remain healthy. Our main focal point in my opinion was environmental interdependence – which also led to an enjoyable but very educational trip to two farms which I will discuss later. As my previous two blogs have shown, I don’t know very much around the idea of sustainable development and what it contains but I had a slight knowledge towards interdependence after studying biology at secondary school. However, these past two weeks have broadened my knowledge and I now have built up not only knowledge but also skills which I would never have imagined to be brought on by learning about interdependence.
Early humans understood their reliance on their environment for resources i.e. native Americans, aboriginals and Maoris – which led to the respect of the things which they relied on, which is where interdependence came from. There are three main components of interdependence; economic, social and environmental. Economic interdependence is things like global marketing and trading but also multinational financial regulations and legislation within certain areas. Economic interdependence has also come to include many other aspects of economic life and since the beginnings of the age of computerization, telecommunications, low-cost travel and shipping, economic interdependence has taken new forms including the worldwide structural integration of production and marketing.(Pahelke, R. 2009). Social interdependence exists when the accomplishment of each individual’s goals is affected by the actions of other. (Deutsch, 1949, 1962; Johnson, 1970; D. W. Johnson & Johnson, 1989). They also state that there are two types of social interdependence; positive(cooperation) and negative(competition). Positive social interdependence only exists when both individuals reach their goal whereas negative social interdependence is when only one individual from the pair manage to complete their goals while the other fails. Finally, environmental interdependence is related to the ‘web of life’. This is connected to food chains and how it is apparent that every species has a function to fulfil in sustaining this ‘web of life’.
In week 2, I had a group task which. Discussed sustainable fishing and how it impacts the three areas of interdependence. I have linked the poster at the bottom of my blog.
I gained a much larger knowledge of environmental interdependence when my cohort visited Mossgeil( a small, organic farm) and Strandhead( a large, technically advance farm) a few weeks ago. I, along with several others, were very apprehensive to go to the farms as we did not know what conditions the cows would be living in. I was happy to see that both farms shad great living conditions for their animals and even though Strandhead farm did not allow. Their cows to. Graze outside, the farmer mentioned that they are still happy as they have never experienced this and even if they had the choice they would stay inside. It was extremely eye opening to see the differences between each farm as Mossgeil farms ethos was keeping the cows healthy and happy and producing organic milk whereas Strandhead had production targets to hit, so their highest priority was that there were cows constantly producing milk. Even though Strandhead was a more about the milk than the cows, the cows still seemed happy apart from the fact that their calves were removed from them at birth whilst at Mossgeil the calves and the mothers were never separated against their own will. All the farmers we met were so positive and enthusiastic about their profession and were able to answer any question that were thrown at them. In Mossgeil farm the cows were all put into the one area away from their living space to get milked once a day and the machines they used has to be connected to the cow’s udders by hand. However, as Strandhead is a more technically advanced farm, the cows just walked into a chain of machines whenever they wanted too, and the machine done all the work. It was extremely impressive to watch and it’s an experience which I feel would be great to take younger children to witness when learning about farms and their goings on. It made me realise as well how important it is for children to know where their food and other produce comes from.
When reflecting upon my trip to the farm, I became much more ethically minded and even though I believe both sets of cows are treated well, it has made me realise that I would rather support organic farms. However, in my life at the moment I cannot financially afford to buy organic food and milk but when the time comes, I am financially stable I will try my. best too. In relation to GTCS Standards for Registration I
have improved on ‘critically. examining personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenging assumptions and professional practice’. I also, as shown throughout this blog, have become much more knowledgeable about this subject.
(Deutsch, 1949, 1962; Johnson, 1970; D. W. Johnson & Johnson, 1989) Social Interdependence Theory [Online] Available: http://www.ceebl.manchester.ac.uk/events/archive/aligningcollaborativelearning/Johnson_Johnson.pdf[Accessed: 18 October 2019].
Pahelke, R. (2009) Introduction to Sustainable Development: Globalization, Interdependence and Sustainability. UNESCO ELOSS [online] Available: http://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C13/E1-45-03-16.pdf
My groups poster:
Week 1 and 2 – Diversity
For the last two weeks within lectures and workshops I have been learning about diversity and biodiversity. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along
the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Sheets (2009) stated that in order to be an effective teacher it is crucial to understand and acknowledge the critical role culture plays in the teaching-learning process. There is a theory called Diversity Pedagogy Theory which is a set of principles that point out the natural and inseperable connection between culture and cognition. This shows that if a teacher has a clear understanding of diversity between cultures along with other things it allows them to evolve into a culturally competent educator.
When I first began learning about diversity I knew what it was but I also knew that I needed to broaden my knowledge as it was very small. It has made me improve other skills aswell i.e. my problem solving skills. In the first weeks workshops I was learning about primary science and experiments which I can use within the classroom. We made groups and in these groups we went into the universities grounds and gathered different leaves and made rubbings of them. It was a really fun activity which I think younger children would enjoy.
I also had a very interesting talk from Kim and Caroline from WOSDEC which is a global learning centre that works to promote social justice through education. This was a very informative talk and allowed me to discover what it is WOSDEC do. They also showed how this topic links in with the curriculum –
“Curriculum for Excellence challenges schools and communities to develop children and young people as responsible citizens who show respect for others; who understand different beliefs and cultures; and who are developing informed, ethical views of complex issues. Children and young people need to know why discrimination is unacceptable and how to challenge it. They need to understand the importance of celebrating diversity and promoting equality.” (Scottish Government, 2012)
In week 2, Andrew taught a lecture on Cultural diversity which I felt I already knew a fair bit about as I find it very interesting but Andrew added extra knowledge which I didn’t know. I learned about different stereotypes and how crucial it is as a primary teaching to not stereotype anyone.
Sheet, R. (2009) Diversity Pedagogy Theory [online] Available: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ847137[Accessed: 23 September 2019].
šScottish Government (2012) Promoting Diversity and Equality: Developing Responsible Citizens for the 21stCentury. [Online] Available: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/Promoting_DE080313_tcm4-747988.pdf[Accessed: 22 September 2019]
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