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.

Working out loud on culture


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.




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)