The recent call for hunkering down, closing borders, keeping out the other is contrary to the global citizen’s position on collaboration, understanding the other and how to disagree with another person’s view. In a world of over 7 billion people the requirement to establish a harmonious and workable relationship with the other at a time of extreme stress on world resources is paramount to well being, productivity, and even survival. From a global perspective this is about interconnection, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, empathy, the value of diversity and peaceful outcomes to conflicting ideas.
You’ve got to love what digital connection and social tools can do.
I recently reached out on LinkedIn to broaden my professional learning network and connected with Ciarra Greene at Portland University, Oregon. I asked Ciarra about global education and her reply set me thinking. I had an ‘aha’ moment. She gave me the missing dots to connect so many ideas rushing about in my head. Ciarra mentioned place-based learning and whilst I understood the concept I had not heard that name.
Place-based learning immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of other learning areas across the curriculum.
I immediately thought of My Place by Nadine Wheatley and the wonderful offerings for learners relating to PLACE. I’ve wandered from my original pathway!
Ciarra is connected to the Nez Perce tribe, who are an Indigenous people of the plateau, living in the Pacific northwest region of the United States.
Indigenous tribes in the USA are in the news right now, battling Trump’s directive to the Army to continue laying the Dakota Access pipeline across sacred sites with the threat of contaminating drinking water.
What if learners in the United States exchanged their understandings of the traditional cultures of indigenous tribes with learners in Australia and their understandings of the traditional cultures of our First People, the Aborigines? What if the identity and indeed existence of these indigenous tribes was being threatened? What if environmental issues are being exploited?
I think Ciarra and I are learning just in the same way we want our young learners to learn-through collaboration, communication and deep thinking. Through technology, our learning has shot past the four walls of the classroom and entered the biggest ‘classroom’ that is our world.
More people are on the same page and acknowledge climate change is real. Climate change is not some mythical creature flying over rainbows.
Education is going to be part of climate action so that every person on the planet is aware of what climate change is and what needs to be done to achieve quality air, water and land across the planet.
What is Global Goal 13?
“Climate action” sounds like a vague term. But it basically means doing your part to keep the planet clean and healthy. Ok, still not clear?
Channel your inner hippy for a moment… Continue reading
I am wanting to hear from schools where leadership and educators have supported their learners to respond artistically to the issues surrounding climate change. This may be in the form of the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature and or cinema.
Hoping to be proven wrong, it is my feeling that educators do not highlight climate change in the curriculum. It’s not a hot topic (pardon the pun). Traditionally slotted into the curriculum under Science and Geography, many educators are insufficiently informed, too fearful of tackling what they see as a controversial topic or both. The links to many issues of global significance can be traced to the warming of the planet.
CLIMARTE’S mission is to harness the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change. Climarte will present their ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 festival which will run from 19 April to 14 May 2017.
ClimActs is an Australian theatre troupe playing a role of peaceful protest to support demands for social justice and human rights. Using striking spectacle as well as satire to communicate and educate on the urgency of climate change, each act has been carefully created to address an aspect of the climate debate. For instance, the Climate Guardians represent selfless and fearless care and guardianship, the Coal Diggers epitomise the recklessness and insatiable greed of vested interests.
School leaders and educators, don’t forget the A in STEAM and broaden the opportunities for young people to find their voice and respond to the concerns of their generation.
Don’t forget to contact me if your school is already taking this approach.
Marilyn Snider is an Australian global education activist who promotes a dynamic, self-directed approach where learners explore real world issues and challenges whilst delving into deeper and more satisfying conceptual understandings. Creativity, critical analysis and action are hallmarks of her work. www.bethinkglobal.com.au
In 2016, I visited NGO Husk’s community and school hub in Kompheim, Cambodia where I worked with local people in the sewing room and classrooms. Fiona and Anthony Jaensch warmly welcomed our group and shared the programs for building well being, literacy, financial skills and environmental conservation.
In an article, Do Students Enjoy Writing? the latest UK data shows that while children and young people’s enjoyment of reading has been increasing in recent years, enjoyment of writing is heading in the opposite direction. So much so that the National Literacy Trust is now calling for a focus on writing for enjoyment in schools. Results of its sixth annual literacy survey of more than 32 000 eight- to 18-year-olds, released this month, show 44.8 per cent said they enjoy writing very much or quite a lot in 2015 – down from 49.3 per cent the previous year and 10 per cent lower than the 2015 figure for enjoyment of reading.
I pose the question, “How would I respond to this disappointing trend in attitudes to writing?”
What seems lacking is student motivation and engagement. The enjoyment of writing is greater enhanced by the learner choosing the topic.
Writing in the 21st century has changed and has expanded beyond the genres commonly taught and the development of traditional pieces. We now need to learning to write in a digital space- to think about using social tools for writing, coding, to write with precision and brevity, sometimes within 140 characters, to write using hyperlinks, to use the skills of curating, archiving and sharing.
How can you create the context to connect your students to a real audience beyond the classroom? By stimulating curiosity and encouraging learners to envisage a purpose for writing, inspiring learning can be fashioned.
First, you should become familiar with common tools such Twitter, Facebook, Seesaw, Blackboard Collaborate, Edmodo groups, Google docs, Sway, blogposts, WhatsApp, Skype groups, Padlet and Global Projects including Flat Connections. As educators, we cannot expect to be confident facilitators unless we have some working knowledge of digital tools.
Now for a purpose? What would learners like to find out? What do learners wish to say? Learners easily adapt to online communication to seek answers to their own questions. Martha Payne, a young school girl from Scotland, started her blog, NeverSeconds as a writing project. Her blog went viral and involved school children across the globe to write. With a reason to write, learners found their voice and expressed themselves in their unique style. A global audience is waiting-an audience of varying cultures, ages, faiths, gender, beliefs and experience.
Writing becomes authentic. This has been measured to increase motivation and engagement. Success can be shared with the school community as well as with wider audiences.
How can you enrich your learners’ experience of writing with a real audience beyond the classroom?
The Budgie nine are free to think about their behaviour whilst in Malaysia.
Upon return a spokesperson, one of the nine urged Australians to be sensitive to the cultures of other countries and then asked for privacy. I see the funny side-men who want to strip down to their underwear in public now wanting privacy.
It’s hard to believe that nine, not two or three grown men, some at least with tertiary education and including a staffer of Australian Defence Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne, should agree to such behaviour in a country with a majority of people of Muslim faith. Or didn’t they know that fact.
Lesson here? How do we avoid the diplomatic time, money and embarrassment when Aussies still commit ‘I didn’t know that we would be offending them” behaviour?
I agree with and stand committed to the inclusion of intercultural understanding as a capability in the Australian curriculum. However, it begs the question, “How many of our educators are culturally aware and know how to impart intercultural understanding in their programs? Has the provision of face to face support been made available to schools to facilitate this?
Sadly, the answer leaves us pondering when will the Australian Government next have to apologise for or bail out Aussies arraigned with indecency charges through lack of cultural education, lack of judgment or both?
I’m heading down a different path today.
KOGO which stands for Knit One, Give One, started out as a small group who wanted to knit for others. In the first year, 180 scarves were knitted and distributed to those experiencing homelessness. Enabling others to be protected from the cold and to experience the self worth that comes from being valued, the group has grown over to over 5000 knitters and crocheters in 12 years. They come from all walks of life and they vary in age – the youngest being an 11 year old girl and our oldest being over 100. In 2015, the not-for-profit organisation distributed 65,500 hand knitted winter woollies to the most vulnerable in our community through 250 community partner organisations.
What’s the point of ALL this?
Let me give some background…
Caritas Australia calls upon Catholic Social Teaching to guide its work. No human being should have their dignity or freedom compromised. The common good is reached when we work together to improve the wellbeing of people in our society and the wider world.
The Global Perspectives Framework highlights global values and attitudes and mentions a commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of all people and maintaining a sense of personal identity and self esteem.
Partnerships for action work best when those whose skill base can be shared, find those who will gain value from that skill. Generosity of effort can make an immeasurable difference to someone else. The benefits are mutual.
In KOGO’s work, the principles of ‘the dignity of the person’ and ‘the common good’ apply. KOGO’s values are global values and action starts right at their own front door.
There are so many exciting experiences happening in classrooms all over the world. Ordinary teachers doing amazing things with their learners at the heart of each experience-professional learning networks of teachers willing to share in order to strengthen the skills and awareness of their learners. You’ll find digital and/or global learning examples right here in this posting.
Colleague, Julie Lindsay, of Flat Connections constructs a learning model whereby all learners have freedom to communicate across borders rather than up or down – with no hierarchy.
On Global Collaboration Day (15th September), experienced global educators and professionals will host connective projects and events. The goals of this whole day event are to demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools and universities around the world, and to introduce others to the tools, resources and projects that are available to educators today.
Take a look at the active global projects from iEARN. This organisation enables interactive curriculum-based groups to create, research, share opinions and become global citizens.
How can you engage your learners in learning about the world from the world?