How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm?

fishery farming

Did you know that there are 570 million farms around the world and 500 million of them are owned by families?
These families live in both developing and developed countries.
Did you know that floods that occurred every 100 years are predicted to occur every 25 to 50 years?

Family farming

So it makes sense to not only acknowledge the work these families do, but to also think about the ways we can continue to support them to continue feeding themselves and us.

When you plan a unit of inquiry around food, add a global perspective and look at families, farming, affect of the climate and our connections. In this way we can foster insight, understanding, empathy and the learning needed to find sustainable ways to overcome the challenges that face us.

Take a Virtual Farm Visit linking to the Australian Curriculum Year 4 – 7 Technologies Curriculum and Year 4 and 5 Geography

Activities for Investigating agriculture in Australia can be found at AgriFoods

Behind the brands explores the connection between big companies, sugar and land grabs

Food for thought is a game for learning about small scale farmers and fairness in the global food system

Take action at Aussi Smart

-Keep me posted with your units centred around food.  Dig deeper, think wider and send me your global reach with your unit of inquiry.

Advertisements
How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm?

Natural with numbers

Mathshttps://twitter.com/australian/status/540999366128205824

So our learners aren’t learning Maths.  Time and time again I hear learners saying, when asked to respond to solving an equation by adding two numbers, “I plus them,” or when multiplying numbers, “I times them.”  When subtraction is required to solve an equation where two numbers are involved, I’d like a dollar for every time a learner says, “You minus them.”  An equation is referred to as a ‘sum’.   A ‘sum’ is the answer when you add numbers together.

A sense of number and what is done with numbers is difficult for many learners to internalise.  The transmission of the language of maths is so poor in many instances that I wonder if intervention is needed in order to not only break the cycle of inadequate language to describe mathematical operations, but to model strategical and block building concepts to teachers.  Perhaps maths mentors is the answer.

Natural with numbers

Education for Sustainable Development Part two

India tile

How can sustainability enhance the learning areas in curricula?

My favourite picture storybook is The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley  (Thank you Nuella.)  You MUST read it.  The message I took away was live simply so others can simple live. (Thank you Gandhi.)

A curriculum that has sustainable futures at its core will be a dynamic and value enriched program of learning. The ways in which we can meet our current needs without diminishing the environment or reducing the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs is what a sustainable future is about.

So as a learner and facilitator, I brainstormed all the concepts of a global curriculum centred around the functions of sustainability – cultural sustainability, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability …..so here goes…….needs and wants, human rights, politics, Millenium Development Goals, belief systems, value systems,  gender equity, poverty reduction, global cooperation, interconnection, human well being, peace, resolving conflict, partnerships, trade, water, forests, natural hazards and disasters, biodiversity, food security, endangered species, energy, desertification, effects of climate and its change, trading fairly, education,  identity, child Rights, Agriculture, ethical consumerism, migration, immigration,  refugees, population, intercultural understanding, cultural diversity, connections to the past, indigenous culture, global health…… phwew!! And that’s just for starters.

Write down these learning areas- Civics and Citizenship, Geography, Science, History, Technologies, Maths, The Arts, English, Health and Phys Ed, Languages and  Economics.

Now try and fit any one of the concepts above under just one learning area.  Can’t choose? That’s because sustainability and global learning cross all areas of the curriculum. A rich curriculum has interconnected learning.

The best way to work out where you can work with these concepts in your curriculum is to do a concept map.

Take a look at your existing curriculum. Could you enhance it and open the eyes of your learners a little wider by including a concept around sustainability?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education for Sustainable Development Part two

It doesn’t add up

How I look forward to Mondays. I am having some sessions with Helen Blunden from Activate Learning, exploring the use of social tools for learning. Our discourse has been stimulating and the learning I liken to an inverse maths concept.  If you don’t add anyone to your learning, you minimise the benefit from your outcomes and reduce the impact of what that learning could be. Share that learning and you multiply your outcomes, knowledge and opportunities. More people learn even more. Go figure!

It doesn’t add up

Working out loud on culture

bird

It’s the middle of #WOLweek and goodness knows why I woke with the birds at 5.15 this morning.  No excuse on a beautiful morning not to walk and whilst doing so I tried out the voice memo app on my phone to capture some thoughts about last night’s film at the festival I’m wading through – number eight in just 13 days.  Being a learner, I absorb and reflect about what’s going on around me.  I make connections, sometimes with very thin threads. The film was about Chaim Bialik, a poet and writer.  I made two connections. One was the theme I am expanding on at present- the importance of culture in societies, and two, the writer’s name was chosen for Bialik College, an eminent school in my town. Coming out of the cinema I bumped into Jeremy Stowe, the Principal of Bialik College and we chatted briefly about names and identification. Why was this man important? 

By writing his works, mainly poetry  in Hebrew, Bialik contributed significantly to the revival of the Hebrew language, which before his days existed primarily as an ancient, scholarly tongue. His influence is felt deeply in all modern Hebrew literature. Bialik’s poems have been translated into at least 30 languages, and set to music as popular songs. These poems, and the songs based on them, have become an essential part of the education and culture of modern Israel. He was a man who responded to and reflected upon changes to his society.  He created from his heart and his soul-an artist whose medium was words.  To this day, Bialik is recognized as Israel’s national poet. 

A society’s culture is the cloth that is woven from thoughts and responses. It is the cloth that envelops the way we think, the way we live and the way we work. We feel that cloth to reflect and form new ideas. Chaim Bialik has become part of the cultural cloth of a people.

Tonight I spent an hour with #AEFchat on Twitter speaking about my involvement on a Leadership Study program to India this year.  How amazing to see first hand, another country’s culture and education system.

 

 

 

Working out loud on culture

Education for Sustainable Development Part one

Have you asked yourself, “What REALLY IS sustainability?”

A greenhouse nightmare

Since the late 1960’s, sustainability, which initially had an environmental focus, expanded to include economy and later social and cultural considerations.

In 1987 the approach to conservation brought together environmental conservation and development and so came the term ‘sustainable development’. This represented the first formal recognition that “development should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, suggesting development, progress and growth had to take account of their environmental impacts.

So wider ethical issues such as human rights, in support of values, justice and fairness are integral to education for sustainable development.  Intercultural understanding strengthens respect for equality.  Peace and resolving conflict foster the values of empathy and cooperation.  A rights based education encompasses the concept of education for sustainable development and reinforces the awareness that we share a common destiny with others. (OHCHR 2006).

Sustainability has become a vast social, political, economic and educational concern. The UN has devoted a decade to Education for Sustainability. The Australian Curriculum considers sustainability important enough to be delivered across the curriculum.

Watch out for more posts on this topic.

Part 2 “In what ways could sustainability enhance the learning areas in my curriculum?”

Part 3 “How could I amplify sustainability throughout my school?”

Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au – See more at: http://nicholsoncartoons.com.au/reproduce-a-cartoon#sthash.eni7rgBN.dpuf

Education for Sustainable Development Part one

Sustainable development of culture

I have been reminded of the variation and importance of culture during a film festival I have been attending over the last 12 days.  Some aspects of the cultures and values of others have been entirely new to me.

Cultures among people have developed over millenia in every corner of the world.  The distinctions and nuances between people as they form groups to live, to work and to create have been the means by which we form values, understand the human form, learn from the past and inform the future. The diversity of a myriad of cultures underpins how individuals and groups and communities develop, grow and flourish.

Whilst I know and cherish the values and cultural influences on my life, why should I  learn about the cultures of others? Cultural upbringing is an inherently important aspect of my identity; it is part of who I am.  When I am proud and confident of who I am, I can understand why others might feel the same about themselves.  The more we delve into intercultural understanding, the richer and stronger are the groups that make up our society.

Recognizing the importance of building human solidarity, our rich diversity, which is our collective strength should be used for constructive partnership for change and for the achievement of the common goal of sustainable development.  (Johannesburg Declaration, 2002)

 

 

 

Sustainable development of culture
%d bloggers like this: